COVID-19: President Trump Still Holds China Responsible

President Donald Trump on Thursday threatened new tariffs against Beijing after claiming that he has evidence that links the ravaging Coronavirus (COVID-19) to a lab in China’s city of Wuhan where the pandemic originated late last year.

When journalists asked President Trump if he had seen anything giving him a high degree of confidence that the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) was the origin of the outbreak, Trump replied emphatically saying, “Yes, I have.” The Republican is increasingly making complaints over Beijing’s handling of the pandemic outbreak a major issue for his November reelection campaign.

He told reporters at the White House that US agencies were investigating how the virus first emerged and what China had done to stop it spreading to the rest of the world. “We’ll be able to get a very powerful definition of what happened,” he said, adding that a report would be made to him “in the not too distant future.” But even as the issue remains under probe, Trump said he already has suspicions.

“They could have stopped it,” he said, attacking China for not cancelling international flights out of the country in time. Several theories are circulating on how the virus appeared in Wuhan, including that it emerged from a market selling live animals or accidentally from the Wuhan research lab. The US intelligence community said Thursday it had concluded that the novel coronavirus originated in China but was not man-made or engineered. But, pressed by reporters at the White House for details on what made him so confident about a link to the laboratory, Trump replied: “I cannot tell you that.”

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