As of Sunday morning, Johns Hopkins University reported that there have been over 39,000 coronavirus-related deaths in the United States.
The disease is believed to have originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan, and during a press briefing, President Donald Trump confirmed rumors that China could be facing repercussions if it’s determined that the communist nation did indeed lie about the origins of the virus, video shared by RealClearPolitics shows.
China put on notice
“If they were knowingly responsible, certainly,” Trump said on Saturday when asked if any action would be taken against the Chinese government in retaliation for the proliferation of the virus.
“If it was a mistake, a mistake is a mistake,” he continued. “But if they were knowingly responsible, yeah, then there should be consequences.” The president went on to say that he hasn’t “ruled anything out,” adding that he wants “to look at the facts as they come in.”
Trump also expressed skepticism regarding the low COVID-19 infection rates that the Chinese government has reported, asking, “Does anybody really believe this number?”
Dr. Deborah Birx serves as the White House coronavirus response coordinator, and she also cast doubt on the Chinese statistics, calling them “unrealistic.”
“The United States has produced dramatically better health outcomes than any other country, with the possible exception of Germany,” Trump argued.
“Risk of a new SARS-like pandemic.”
While the coronavirus pandemic is said to have originated from the consumption of infected bats sold at a Wuhan wet market, some are claiming that the real source was a Chinese virology lab.
The Washington Post reported this week that a U.S. scientific diplomatic team expressed concerns after touring the Wuhan Institute of Virology in 2018.
In a serious of cables, the team expressed concern that there was a “serious shortage of appropriately trained technicians and investigators needed to safely operate this high-containment laboratory,” something that “represented a risk of a new SARS-like pandemic.”
Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) faced derision in February for questioning the claim that COVID-19 must have come from bats in a market, telling Fox Business, “This virus did not originate in the Wuhan animal market.”
“We also know that just a few miles away from that food market is China’s only biosafety level 4 super laboratory that researches human infectious diseases. Now we don’t have evidence that this disease originated there, but because of China’s duplicity and dishonesty from the beginning we need to at least ask the question.”