While China is beset with a new Coronavirus outbreak in Beijing, the communist country is still under world pressure for more transparency on its origin in Wuhan last year. And the U.S. President Donald Trump, who has so much on his plate already from Black Lives Matter protests to newly released John Bolton's book targeting the President, is undaunted to blame China for the current global crisis.
In his recent interview with the Wall Street Journal, Trump reiterated his belief that Xi Jinping's government may have "intentionally" allowed the deadly Coronavirus to spread beyond its borders to damage other global economies.
From the U.S. to China, Trump's Point of View
He told the news agency that there was some systemic racism in the U.S. and removing Confederate names from military bases would further divide the nation. During the interview at the Oval Office, he also took credit for popularizing Juneteenth, the commemoration of the end of slavery. But in between, he did not forget to mention China, especially criticizing its efforts to curb the health crisis.
He said, "There's a chance it was intentional," in order to cause damage to competing economies though he acknowledged that he did not have any evidence to support that claim. "They're saying, man, we're in a mess," said Trump and quickly added, "Don't forget, my economy during the last year and a half was blowing them away. And the reason is the tariffs."
But he soon softened his claim and said, "they would do that." Acknowledging that the novel Coronavirus could have been allowed to spread unintentionally, he said, "But you never know." A quick look at the Chinese economy shows that the pandemic has it shrunk 6.8 percent during the first quarter owing to serial lockdowns and coronavirus restrictions. And the U.S. witnessed a GDP contraction of 4.8 percent during the same period.
In the midst of the blame game between the two largest global economies, the pandemic started affecting the entire U.S., leaving many countries far behind in the chart. The Trump administration squarely blamed it on China and bought the controversial theory that the SARS-CoV-2 virus could have leaked from a Wuhan lab, though no evidence has been collected by its intelligence agencies so far.
The U.S. government, especially President Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo have emerged the top critics of Beijing's initial response to the outbreak, saying that China should have acted sooner to contain the virus. Not ready to take too much of the blame, the Chinese government hit them back reminding that the U.S. government had enough prior knowledge about the coronavirus outbreak but neglected safety measures and thus, jeopardized the country's safety.
However, Trump remained upbeat with his predictions for the U.S. economy in the lead up to Presidential election in November that he expected a "tremendous increase in GDP." Claims apart, the Coronavirus cases are still rising across the U.S., with the fears of a second wave of COVID-19 infections gripping many states such as California, which has urged people to wear masks outside their homes.
Infection cases continue to surge across the South and West of the U.S., most notably in Oklahoma, where Trump plans to hold a campaign rally on Saturday. Record rise in cases is also reported in California, Arizona, and Florida on Thursday. But Trump insisted during a recent interview that the ongoing coronavirus testing has "overrated" the cases and suggested that people should wear masks only to signal their disapproval of him. It remains to be seen how many would take the hint.