US President Donald Trump warned on Saturday that China could face consequences if it was “knowingly responsible” for the coronavirus pandemic.
“It could have been stopped in China before it started and it wasn’t,” Trump told reporters at a White House briefing. “And now the whole world is suffering because of it.”
According to NDTV, Trump was asked whether China should suffer consequences over the pandemic which began in the Chinese city of Wuhan in December and has left more than 157,000 people dead around the world.
“If they were knowingly responsible, certainly,” he said.
“If it was a mistake, a mistake is a mistake. But if they were knowingly responsible, yeah, I mean, then sure there should be consequences,” Trump said. He did not elaborate on what form that might take.
He said the Chinese were “embarrassed” and the question now was whether what happened with the coronavirus was “a mistake that got out of control, or was it done deliberately?”
“There’s a big difference between those two,” he said.
During the White House briefing, Trump interrupted his coronavirus response coordinator, Deborah Birx, who was showing a comparison of deaths per 100,000 people in a range of countries, to say he didn’t believe China and Iran’s stated fatalities.
“Does anybody really believe these figures?” he asked.
Trump also cast doubt on Chinese figures showing just 0.33 deaths per 100,000 people.