Go to contents

Trump says he’s seen evidence coronavirus started in China lab

Trump says he’s seen evidence coronavirus started in China lab

Posted May. 02, 2020 08:05,   

Updated May. 02, 2020 08:05


U.S. President Donald Trump indicated a possibility of imposing a tariff on China, maintaining that he had seen evidence that the Wuhan Institute of Virology is the origin of COVID-19. Critics see his message as a concrete and stringent attempt to win his re-election race. There is also a likelihood that the U.S.-China trade tensions can go up again despite their signing of a first-phase trade agreement in January.

When asked if President Trump has seen any concrete evidence that COVID-19 escaped from the virology institute in Wuhan in a press conference at the White House on Thursday (local time), he gave a clear yes twice. However, he did not disclose any detailed evidence although arguing that China failed to contain the spread of the virus or intentionally let it spread. “We should have the answer to that in the not-too-distant future and that will determine a lot how I feel about China,” President Trump said, adding that an investigation is underway.

President Trump also answered that merely introducing a tariff on China can bring more money to the United States, in response to a question if he would consider having the United States not fulfilling debt obligations to China as punishment for the virus.

The U.S. government has reportedly been considering stripping China of sovereign immunity under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FISA), according to The Washington Post. It intends to sue China for coronavirus damages in a U.S. court. CNN also reported that Washington is thinking of economic sanctions, refusal of debt payment and new trade policy.

“The Intelligence Community also concurs with the wide scientific consensus that the COVID-19 virus was not manmade or genetically modified. The IC will continue to rigorously examine emerging information and intelligence to determine whether the outbreak began through contact with infected animals or if it was the result of an accident at a laboratory in Wuhan,” the Office of Director of National Intelligence (DNI) said in a statement on Thursday. Some experts see that the DNI, a U.S. governmental arm in charge of 17 national intelligence agencies, implicitly agreed that COVID-19 originated from Wuhan.

Yong Park parky@donga.com · Wan-Jun Yun zeitung@donga.com