Donald Trump wants to send US experts inside China to probe coronavirus

Topics Coronavirus | Donald Trump | China

US President Donald Trump speaks about the coronavirus in Washington | Photo: AP/PTI
US President Donald Trump on Sunday said his government wants to send a team of experts inside China to investigate coronavirus, a day after he warned Beijing of consequences if it was knowingly responsible for the spread of Covid-19 which has killed over 41,000 in America.

Describing the coronavirus as a plague, Trump, during his White House news conference on Sunday, said that he is not happy with China where the pandemic emerged in December last year in the central Chinese city of Wuhan.

"We spoke to them (Chinese) a long time ago about going in. We want to go in. We want to see what's going on. And we weren't exactly invited, I can tell you that," the President told reporters.

"I was very happy with the (trade) deal (with China), very happy with everything and then we found out about the plague and since we found out about that I'm not happy," he said.

The US has launched an investigation into whether the deadly virus "escaped" from the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

He has repeatedly expressed disappointment over China's handling of the coronavirus disease, alleged non-transparency and initial non-cooperation from Beijing with Washington on dealing with the crisis.

LIVE: Press Briefing with Coronavirus Task Force https://t.co/RtYrCYTQyI

— The White House (@WhiteHouse) April 19, 2020

Based on an investigation, we are going to find out, Trump told reporters.

A day earlier, he warned China that it should face consequences if it was "knowingly responsible" for the spread of the novel coronavirus, upping the ante on Beijing over its handling of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Trump also claimed that the US has carried out more tests than 10 other countries, including India, taken together.

Trump asserted on Sunday that the US continued to make steady progress in its war against the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) and the country had tested 4.18-million people. "That's a record anywhere in the world," he said.

We've launched an unprecedented effort to accelerate the development of treatments and therapies to treat and defend against Coronavirus. pic.twitter.com/Cr09Kw2aKS

— The White House (@WhiteHouse) April 19, 2020

"We have done more testing than all of these countries combined -- France, United Kingdom, South Korea, Japan, Singapore, India, Austria, Australia, Sweden and Canada," Trump told reporters at a news conference in the White House.

The number of Covid-19 deaths in the US crossed 41,000 and the total infections were more than 764,000 so far.

New York, the epicentre of the deadly Covid-19 in the US, has 2,42,000 cases and over 17,600 fatalities so far. It has registered a 50-percent decline in new cases over an eight-day period.

The novel virus, which emerged in China in December last year, has killed over 160,000 and infected more than 2.3 million people worldwide.



Business Standard is now on Telegram.
For insightful reports and views on business, markets, politics and other issues, subscribe to our official Telegram channel