Peter Navarro, the White House trade adviser said the novel Coronavirus was a "product of the Chinese Communist Party." He suggested that the virus which has killed more than 468,300 globally so far may have been purposefully created by the Chinese government, though without providing any immediate evidence.
His claims came along with Beijing's decision to suspend imports of poultry products from an American plant owned by Tyson Inc, an Arkansas-based meat processor, as the Chinese authorities struggle to bring an outbreak in the capital under control. China's General Administration of Customs said on its website that it has decided the suspension after the company confirmed a cluster of Coronavirus cases at the plant, located in Springdale.
China Cannot Move Ahead as an Innocent Country
Just a few days ago the U.S. President Donald Trump told in an interview with Wall Street Journal that the Chinese government may have "intentionally" allowed the deadly Coronavirus to spread beyond its borders to damage other global economies. Reiterating similar allegation, Navarro, while talking to CNN's Jake Tapper, made similar comments and said China may have purposefully spawned the virus.
The White House official addressed the virus as a product of CCP and said, "Until we get some information about what happened in those labs or what happened in that wet market we know that virus was spawned in China."
When Navarro was asked whether he thinks that the SARS-CoV-2 was "purposefully created," he said it is an "open question." Then he clarified his response and told CNN, "What I said was the virus came out of China, the Chinese Communist Party is responsible for it and as far as I'm concerned." But he added that personally he believes the Xi Jinping's government is "guilty until proven innocent."
The conversation between CNN's Tapper and Navarro further prolonged as the White House official was asked whether he has evidence to back up his accusation against the Chinese government. In response, Navarro told Tapper that he should have asked the question to CCP.
China's Fight Against the Coronavirus
From the beginning, when all kinds of controversies surfaced related to China's handling of the virus outbreak and the conspiracy theories related to the Wuhan lab leak, Beijing has been defending its position. The authorities have also released a document a few weeks ago, titled "Fighting COVID-19: China in Action." It consists of four chapters -- 'China's Fight against the Epidemic: A Test of Fire,' 'Well-Coordinated Prevention, Control, and Treatment,' 'Assembling a Powerful Force to Beat the Virus' and 'Building a Global Community of Health for All.'
Recently the country again noticed another outbreak in its capital, Beijing, and decided to impose severe restrictions, including travel ban, lockdowns, and mass testing to contain the spread of the virus. After the new surge in COVID-19 cases, China suspended imports from Tyson Inc.
Later, a spokesperson of the company Gary Mickelson said, "It is important to note that the World Health Organization, the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, USDA and the US Food & Drug Administration agree that there is no evidence to support the transmission of COVID-19 associated with food."
The imports of pork products from German pork processor Toennies were also suspended by Chinese authorities last week following a Coronavirus outbreak among hundreds of its workers. The ban on poultry product imports from the U.S. came as the WHO reported a record increase in global COVID-19 cases on Sunday, with the total rising by 183,020 in just 24 hours.