It comes as COVID-19 infection rates in the US approached the 1,100,000 mark. Over 60,000 people have lost their lives to the lethal virus. The US President told journalists: “We just got hit by a vicious virus, that should never have been allowed to escape China. “They should have stopped it at its source. They didn’t do that.
“184 countries have been devastated by it, including China by the way. I have looked at their numbers and their numbers are terrible.
“It’s just a very tough situation for the people of our country.”
On Monday, Donald Trump said that the US would conduct “serious investigations” and suggested that the US would demand reparations from China for the damage it had caused through its negligence.
The Trump administration’s fury with China has been fuelled by the devastating impact that the virus has had on the previously booming economy, which was seen as the key to the US president winning a second term.
The virus has led to an unprecedented collapse of the economy, which sank at an annual rate of 4.8 percent, according to official figures released on Wednesday.
It marked the first contraction since 2014, ending a record expansion.
At the same time, within the last six weeks a staggering 30 million American workers have lost their jobs.
Last week, in an editorial article the editor-in-chief of the popular German tabloid Bild demanded reparations from Beijing to the tune of USD165 billion.
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Julian Reichelt accused the Chinese leadership of deliberately keeping the world in the dark over the killer virus for reasons of national pride.
When asked by a journalist on Monday about the article, Mr Trump implied that his administration was considering the option.
He said: “We can do something much easier than that.
“Germany is looking at things, we are looking at things.
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“We are talking about a lot more money than Germany’s talking about.”
Plans to punish China appear now to be well under away, according to a CNN report.
Multiple sources inside the administration told the US media giant that there was a strong desire to punish Beijing.
Officials were considering using a number of options, that included sanctions, cancelling US debt obligations and drawing up new trade policies to leave Beijing in no doubt as to where the US felt responsibility lies for the health crisis.
A source said: “We have to get the economy going again, we have to be careful about how we do this.
“But we will find ways to show the Chinese that their actions are completely reprehensible.”
Meanwhile, the US president told Reuters that China’s handling of the coronavirus outbreak was proof that Beijing wanted him to lose his re-election bid in November.
He said: “China will do anything they can to have me lose this race.”
The President added that China wanted his Democratic rival Joe Biden to succeed him in the White House, because they felt he would ease the pressure on US-China trade relations.
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