Eddie Mair 4pm - 7pm
Maajid grills caller denying "suspiciously accurate" rise in Chinese death rate
26 April 2020, 14:01
After death rates for coronavirus were revised in the epicentre, Wuhan by nearly exactly 50% this caller from China argued that the numbers weren't exact.
Ben was calling from Sian, China- a city with roughly the same population as London. He let Maajid know that the UK should not be concerned by the Chinese count as it is being revised to catch up on deaths missed in the first count.
Maajid was debating from the point of view that the number is hiding the real figure, insisting that the fact the increase is by 50% is a questionable change in figure and should be taken with a pinch of salt.
"Does that not sound like a suspiciously accurate number?" Maajid asked Ben, who claimed the number was not exactly 50% because the deaths are still being counted. Maajid asked Ben to get him to get the exact figure for the death count.
"It wasn't possible to track every single death" in the beginning Ben stated, and thus the number has had be be revised. He insisted that he trusted the increase in numbers because the government are actively revising and recounting. Maajid was skeptical of Ben's arguments.
"You've called from China to defend the Chinese Communist Party" Maajid pointed out. He insisted that for the track record of the Chinese government it is impossible to support the numbers. Maajid was shocked that Ben was "you're citing numbers from the Chinese Communist Party as if they're true".
Maajid confronted Ben who was claiming that the revision of deaths by coronavirus in Wuhan were not exactly 50%. He proceeded to find the numbers, which are found on a number of sites that a "local government task force increased the number of deaths by 1290 bringing the total to 3869 from 2579". Ben claimed that "it is not 50%" - the increase is in fact 50.0193%, painfully close to exactly 50%.
"I'm asking you why you find it so believable what the Chinese government is reporting" Maajid proceeded after closing on the admission of the 50% increase in death being suspicious.
Ben claimed that in his city which has a population similar to that of London, there have been three deaths by coronavirus and he can testify to that. He added that he has not known of anyone, or friends of anyone he knows that has died of the virus. Maajid was having none of the claims.
"People disappear in China" he claimed. Maajid pointed out that "the fact you don't know anyone that died people is a combination of the facts that people aren't being told how many people have died and that people are scared to report how many people have died".