US President Donald Trump launched a scathing attack targeting China on Thursday, May 14 as he threatened to put a complete end to US-China ties over the latter's alleged reluctance in sharing full information regarding COVID-19.
Trump was speaking to Fox Business News when he said that cutting off ties with China would save them $500 billion reiterating his earlier accusation that the Communist state is 'ripping off' the United States in trade deficits. When asked if he has spoken to his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping about it, Trump said, "I have a very good relationship, but right now I don't want to speak to him."
Trump administration has been long attacking China over its handling of the initial outbreak, sometimes directly and at other times using the World Health Organisation (WHO) as a medium.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had earlier claimed that the country has enough evidence to prove the COVID-19 contagion emerged from a laboratory in Wuhan and that it is not natural, without mentioning whether the release of the disease was deliberate.
Trump during the interview also added to Pompeo's assertions saying when the United States offered to help the Chinese authorities they simply denied adding, "so it was either stupidity, incompetence or deliberate."
The Trump administration has been blocking the US federal retirement funds from investing in Chinese equities, according to reports. In a letter acquired by Fox Network, Trump's national security adviser Robert O’Brien and National Economic Council Chair Larry Kudlow have written to US Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia stating that the White House does not want the Thrift Savings Plan, a federal employee retirement fund, to invest in Chinese equities as it would expose the funds to 'significant and unnecessary economic risk'.
Trump has also said that he will look into the legislation introduced in the Senate on Tuesday that proposes sanctions on China, in response to Beijing's unwillingness in sharing full information regarding the outbreak.
The United States is currently the worst affected country in the world with over 1.4 million cases of infections and more than 86,000 deaths, as per figures on the Worldometer website. As Trump is keen on reopening the US' economy and get businesses going as usual, he is also facing a lot of criticism over his administration's handling of the outbreak.
As per reports, a 'Trump death clock' was put up on the Times Square building recently, the creator of which said that it shows the number of lives that could have been saved if the president acted early.
On the other hand, China has blamed the US government for diverting public attention by suggesting that the virus originated from a Wuhan lab calling it their inefficiency in handling the outbreak. Health experts believe that the virus emerged from a seafood market in Wuhan, where exotic animals were reportedly being traded illegally. WHO has called the US' claim 'speculative' saying that the country is yet to provide any evidence over the virus origin.
(Image Credit: AP)