US President Donald Trump said on Thursday that the world is “paying a big price” for China hiding the initial information on the deadly coronavirus while ramping up his charges that Beijing is responsible for the current global public health crisis due to the pandemic.
Addressing to the media at the White House, Trump said, “It would have been much better if we had known about this a number of months earlier. It could have been contained to that one area in China where it started,”
The coronavirus pandemic has sickened more than 210,300 people in at least 145 countries and over 9,000 people have died, more than half of them outside China, where the epidemic first began in the city of Wuhan.
“The world is paying a big price for what they (China) did and the world is paying a very big price for not letting them (information about coronavirus) come.
The US leader was responding to a question on a critical tweet by his National Security Council (NSC) against the Chinese government.
Taking to Twitter, the NSC said that the Chinese Communist Party suppressed initial reports on the coronavirus and punished doctors, causing Chinese and international experts to miss critical opportunities to prevent a global pandemic.
“Everybody knows that. We all know that. As far as believing what they’re putting out now I hope it”s true. Who knows but I hope it’s true. I really do,” Trump said.
According to various reports, Dr Li Wenliang, a 29-year-old whistle-blower who later died of COVID-19, was warned by local police when he first wrote about the virus on social media on December 31.
Earlier, President Trump has tested negative for the novel coronavirus.
Trump agreed to the test after coming in contact with several members of a Brazilian presidential delegation visiting his Florida resort who have since tested positive for the virus.
Earlier this week, Trump defended calling the coronavirus spreading rapidly across the world the “Chinese Virus” and said that he is pushing back against the false narrative of China that the US military did this.
COVID-19 originated in Wuhan in China.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had accused China of impeding world efforts to fight the coronavirus through censorship.
Last week, Trump has announced a suspension of all travel from most European countries for at least 30 days in an attempt to limit the spread of the coronavirus.
The ban excludes US citizens in Europe and travelers from the United Kingdom, and it also excludes cargo.