Authorities in China say that 425 people have died from the coronavirus outbreak in that country, but one expert says that number represents a false estimate fabricated by a country notorious for secrecy and censorship.
"That number is far too low," Gordon Chang, author of the book "The Coming Collapse of China," said Monday on "Tucker Carlson Tonight."
"There are two reasons for it. One of them... is deliberate falsification," Chang continued. "This has been going on since the virus was first identified in December. But also there is something that's even more worrying."
Chang, who authored the book "The Coming Collapse of China" claimed that local authorities have "just lost the ability to pick up corpses" due to a "breakdown in government."
"So really what we are having right now is, they are completely overwhelmed," he added. "They are not able to keep accurate statistics. So what we are witnessing is essentially a breakdown in government and keeping accurate statistics is a very minor part of their priorities right now."
Citizens of Wuhan, ground zero for the virus which reportedly originated from an animal and seafood market, remain under quarantine as officials attempt to secure the area containing more than 50 million people.
Chang said that while he understands the preventative measure, he believes the quarantine has "made the problem worse."
"I can understand why they want to quarantine but remember, the Wuhan mayor said about 5 million people from his city left before the quarantine was imposed," he said. "Also right now the quarantine has aggravated a problem and that is [that] people can't get to hospitals, so they are at home...they are dying."
"They are infecting other people in their households because they are not, in a sense, quarantined from wives, husbands, brothers, sisters," he continued.
"The quarantine has made the problem worse. It's also created panic. That panic has had consequences on, for instance, social cohesion which is absolutely necessary if you want to beat an epidemic."
Although Wuhan remains the only city under quarantine, Chang warned that other major cities, including Shanghai and Beijing, may find themselves in a similar position.
"It's not just Wuhan," he said. "Many Virologists think that [conditions in] Wuhan will be duplicated in cities like Shanghai, maybe even Beijing. Clearly there is fear everywhere throughout China right now."
"This is only going to get worse," Chang concluded, adding the virus will likely not be contained until "April or May."