Trump says US is investigating China as 'they could have stopped coronavirus'

Donald Trump says he is ‘not happy’ with China over its handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

The President said the People’s Republic could have done more to stop the global crisis. He announced his administration was conducting ‘serious investigations’ into what happened.

Last week Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the United States ‘strongly believed’ Beijing failed to report the outbreak in a timely manner and covered up how dangerous the respiratory illness really was. At yesterday’s White House Covid-19 press 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.’

But Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told reporters in Beijing that some US politicians were ‘telling barefaced lies’ to deflect attention from their insufficient response to the virus at home. He did not refer specifically to Trump or Pompeo.

Yesterday the number of US coronavirus cases passed 1 million with at least 56,286 losing their lives to the disease.

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The country has become the new epicentre of the pandemic, which was thought to have originated from Wuhan in China’s Hubei province.

Geng added: ‘They have only one objective: shirk their responsibility for their own poor epidemic prevention and control measures, and divert public attention.

‘Attempts to shift the blame on China will not denigrate China’s efforts in responding to the virus.’

The coronavirus outbreak has killed more than 211,000 people around the world, including more than 56,000 in the United States.

Earlier on Monday, White House trade adviser Peter Navarro accused China of sending low-quality and counterfeit coronavirus antibody testing kits to the United States and of ‘profiteering’ from the pandemic.

The outspoken Beijing critic has been appointed by Trump to work on supply-line issues relating to the crisis.

He said more testing both for the virus and antibodies would be vital to getting Americans currently stuck at home on lockdown back into work.

In an interview with Fox News he said: ‘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.

‘There’s a lot of these antibody tests coming in from China now that are low quality, false readings and things like that.’

Responding to Navarro’s comments, Geng called the White House adviser a habitual liar with no credibility, in line with previous comments by China.

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