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Donald Trump once again hits out at China over coronavirus pandemic

Speed News Desk | Updated on: 8 May 2020, 12:00 IST

The spread of coronavirus on all parts of the world was either a terrible mistake on the part of the Chinese or most likely it was incompetency, US President Donald Trump stated on Thursday.

"It (coronavirus) could have been stopped at the point. It could have been stopped right at the source. It would have been easy to do, but something happened. Something happened,"Trump told.

"Either they made a terrible mistake -- probably it was incompetence. Somebody was stupid and they did not do the job that they should have done. It is too bad," the president said in response to a question asked by a reporter.

In excess of 2,64,000 people have lost their lives due to coronavirus globally and 37 lakh tested positive for the infection. Only in the US, over 76,000 people have lost their lives and 12 lakh people have tested positive for Covid-19.

The life-threatening pathogen has spread to over 180 countries, the US President highlighted.

At the same time, House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy set forth the formation of the China Task Force, which will muster selected members from key committees to help bolster up Congressional efforts to counter the prevailing and emerging cross-jurisdictional threats from China.

The task force was initially formulated to be a joint effort with Democrat colleagues, however after holding up for more than a year, the majority at no time launched the initiative, McCarthy said.

"As we learn more about COVID-19, one thing has become clear -- China's coverup directly led to this crisis. The Communist Party of China hid the seriousness of the disease, led a propaganda campaign blaming the US, used their supplies to exert influence and continue to refuse international experts to investigate what happened," the Republican leader said.

"It follows the same threatening pattern of behaviour we have seen from the Chinese Communist Party for years -- something that has long been the bipartisan consensus in Washington," McCarthy added.

In a linked development, 27 members of the Senate and House deplored Chinese Ambassador Cheng Jingye’s remark and showed support for Australia’s resolve to continue the probe.

The remark alluded to the fact that Australia may be forced to contend with economic retaliation after calling for an independent probe into the genesises of the coronavirus, including embargo on Australian wine and beef.

“This incident is part of a broader and concerning pattern from the Chinese government," the lawmakers said in a statement.

"As we continue to confront this deadly disease and its consequences, we will be faced with many tough decisions, including those that may arise from the Chinese government's continued lack of cooperation and transparency. One decision that is not difficult is to always stand with our Australian mates. No matter the external pressure or coercion, we will always have Australia's back, just as Australia has always had ours," they said.

Also Read: Chinese hacking group targeting governments across Asia to gather geopolitical intelligence

First published: 8 May 2020, 12:00 IST