The United States has launched another scathing attack on China, accusing the communist nation of hoarding personal protective equipment and selling them at higher rates amid the global health crisis. White House Director of Trade and Manufacturing Peter Navarro on April 20 alleged that China had bought a large number of medical supplies in the month of January and February, which is now selling at a much higher rate. Navarro claimed that he has evidence to support his allegations.
According to Navarro, China had bought 18 times more PPE kits than required and was hoarding them to sell at higher rates and went on to claim that because of which several countries, including India and Brazil are facing shortages. Navarro during an interview said that he has evidence from the Chinese government customs duty union that shows Beijing bought around 2 billion masks in the month of January and February and also increased its purchase of gloves and goggles, selling it back to the world at higher rates.
The recent attack from the top White House official came days after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo accused China of not sharing full information about the viral disease with the international community. Australia had also demanded an independent inquiry into China's handling of the initial outbreak. The World Health Organisation (WHO) is also facing the heat, especially from US President Donald Trump, for its alleged favouring of China amid the pandemic. The United States is the most affected country in the world with over 42,000 deaths and more than 7,94,000 confirmed cases.
The coronavirus outbreak has infected over 2.50 million people globally and has killed nearly 1,71,000 patients since it first broke out in December 2019. The virus is believed to have originated from a seafood market in the Chinese city of Wuhan, the initial epicentre of the disease, where animals were reportedly being traded illegally.