United States President Donald Trump on Sunday said that he wants to send a team of experts to China to investigate how the coronavirus spread from there to other nations, a day after he warned Beijing of “serious consequences” if it was found responsible for the spread of Covid-19.
“We spoke to them [China] a long time ago about [experts] going in,” Trump said during a press briefing. “We want to go in. We want to see what’s going on... And we weren’t exactly invited, I can tell you that.”
Trump said the United States’ relationship with China had begun to improve with the signing of a trade deal until the pandemic. “I was very happy with the [trade] deal [with China], very happy with everything and then we found out about the plague and since we found out about that I’m not happy.”
- Covid-19: Trump warns China of ‘serious consequences’ if it is ‘knowingly responsible’ for pandemic
- Coronavirus: China abruptly raises Wuhan’s toll by 50%, but denies ‘any concealment’
The US has launched an investigation into whether the coronavirus originated in a high-security lab in Wuhan. Several conspiracy theories are circling about the Wuhan Institute of Virology’s P4 laboratory, which is equipped to handle dangerous viruses. On Saturday, the laboratory’s director denied any link to the outbreak. Trump has also repeatedly questioned China’s transparency in handling the pandemic.
At his press briefing, Trump also said that the US has tested 4.18 million people for Covid-19, which he claimed was more tests than 10 other countries combined. “We have done more testing than all of these countries combined – France, United Kingdom, South Korea, Japan, Singapore, India, Austria, Australia, Sweden and Canada,” he said. Trump also said that his administration and the Congress are about to reach an agreement on a $450-billion package to boost small businesses and healthcare.
The United States has been the worst-hit country by the coronavirus pandemic in the world, reporting more than 7.6 lakh cases and over 40,000 deaths so far. New York, the epicentre of the Covid-19 in the US, has reported 2,42,000 cases and over 17,600 deaths so far. It has, however, registered a 50% decline in new cases over a period of eight days. “That’s a fantastic climb,” Trump said. “That’s a beautiful thing to see after going through the opposite.”