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COVID-19 Numbers? 46% of Greeks Think Death Toll Pumped Up

ATHENS — For whatever reason, some 46 percent of Greeks in a survey of 25 countries think that while the government is handling the COVID-19 pandemic well that the number of deaths is being exaggerated, after earlier reports indicated conspiracy theorists think the Coronavirus is a hoax aimed at gaining control of them.

The YouGov-Cambridge Globalism Project poll, designed in collaboration with the British newspaper The Guardian was contradictory in Greece, with applause for the New Democracy government bringing an early lockdown in March that held down the number of cases and deaths.

But a second wave is overtaking the country with a record 1,259 cases on Oct. 27 and another dozen deaths raising the number to 593 fatalities, which nearly half of Greeks don't believe without explaining why. 

Only Nigeria, where 59 percent of people think the death tolls aren't real, had a higher belief in the theory that the numbers are being pumped up to scare people as conspiracy theories are spreading almost as fast as the Coronavirus.

Indeed, many people believe the virus, which began in China, is a secret American plot to spread the virus without explaining why the United States is the world's hardest-hit country for cases and deaths, still rising.

The highest rate of those who think the US created and spread the virus is in Turkey, at 37 percent, but 20 percent of Greeks and Spaniards also think that's the case, along with 16 percent in Poland, 12 percent I France and 5 percent in the United Kingdom, said the newspaper Kathimerini in a report on the poll taken in July and August.

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