US President Donald Trump on Thursday said that the deadly novel Coronavirus came from China and the we are not going to take it lightly.
While participating in a Listening Session with African-American Leaders in Michigan, the President said, “It came from China. We are not happy about it. We just signed a trade deal, the ink wasn’t dry, and all of a sudden this floated in. We are not going to take it lightly”.
In the past few weeks, Trump has been very critical and vocal of China’s inability to control the spread of the novel coronavirus within its territory.
More than 94,000 Americans have died due to the coronavirus and over 1.6 million have tested positive so far.
Meanwhile, the pressure is building on his administration, mainly from the Republican lawmakers on this.
Last week, Trump said that he does not want to talk to his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping right now, indicating his displeasure at the Chinese leadership’s handling of the coronavirus outbreak which has now spread across the world.
On Thursday, Senators Ted Cruz and Rick Scott, along Mike Braun, Marsha Blackburn, Joni Ernst, Martha McSally and Tom Cotton, introduced the COVID-19 Vaccine Protection Act to prevent the Chinese Communist Party from stealing or sabotaging American COVID-19 vaccine research.
The bill requires a thorough national security evaluation and clearance by the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of State, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation of all Chinese student visa holders taking part in activities related to COVID-19 vaccine research.
“Communist China is responsible for the coronavirus pandemic, and their lies and misinformation cost American lives,” Scott said.
The COVID-19 Vaccine Protection Act, among others requires an enhanced vetting of nationals of the Chinese nationals in the US as nonimmigrants under F, J, or M student visas to determine if any student visa holders are a national security threat.
Earlier, the Department of Justice expanded rules to prevent Huawei from undermining US export controls, closing a loophole that has allowed the company to exploit US technology and threaten national security.
Trump had threatened China with fresh tariffs as he stepped up his attacks on Beijing over the COVID-19 crisis, saying he had seen evidence linking a Wuhan lab to the contagion, which has infected at least millions of people so far.
The total number of COVID-19 cases in the US has reached 1,620,767, while the death toll has mounted to 96,314.
On Wednesday, the US leader had said that China’s incompetence is responsible for the “mass worldwide killing”.
Taking to Twitter, Trump said, “Some wacko in China just released a statement blaming everybody other than China for the Virus which has now killed hundreds of thousands of people. Please explain to this dope that it was the “incompetence of China”, and nothing else, that did this mass Worldwide killing!”
The novel coronavirus that was first reported in China’s Wuhan city in December last year has so far claimed the lives of over 3,29,000 people worldwide and has infected more than five million around the globe.