The president of the United States of America, Donald Trump, said on Monday that China could have stopped the spread of the coronavirus before it swept the globe. According to Trump, his administration was conducting “serious investigations” into what exactly happened.
This criticism was the latest from the Trump administration targeting China’s handling of the outbreak, which began late 2019 in the city of Wuhan, in central China. The disease quickly spread from there and became a global pandemic.
U.S. Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, said that the US “strongly believed” that Beijing failed to report the outbreak timeously and attempted to cover up how dangerous the respiratory infection caused by the virus really was.
At a White House briefing Trump said: “We’re doing very serious investigations…We are not happy with China. There are a lot of ways you can hold them accountable. We believe it could have been stopped at the source. It could have been stopped quickly and it wouldn’t have spread all over the world.”
Geng Shuang, the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson told reporters in Beijing that certain U.S. politicians were lying to deflect attention from their own insufficient response to the virus. He did not however specifically refer to either Trump or Pompeo. “Attempts to shift the blame on China will not denigrate China’s efforts in responding to the virus.”
Peter Navarro, White House trade advisor, also accused China of sending sub-standard and counterfeit coronavirus antibody testing kits to the U.S. and of “profiteering” from the pandemic. Navarro is openly critical of Beijing and was appointed by Trump to work on supply-line issues relating to the crisis. He said that more testing for both the virus and antibodies was essential to getting American citizens currently in lockdown back to work. “That’s where, perhaps, we can find people who are immune, that can be in the workplace in a more safe environment. But we can’t have China, for example, bringing in those fake tests and counterfeit tests, because that’s going to be very disruptive,” Navarro told Fox News in an interview.
“There’s a lot of these antibody tests coming in from China now that are low quality, false readings and things like that.”
In response to questions about Navarro; s comments and allegations, Geng said that the White House advisor was a habitual liar without any credibility.