On Friday, US President Donald Trump once again emphasized that imposing an additional tariff on China for allegedly mishandling the deadly COVID-19 outbreak is “certainly an option”.
Trump said this in response to a question about his comments a day earlier in which he had talked about imposing a tariff on China as a punishment for its role in spreading the coronavirus.
“It’s certainly an option. It’s certainly an option,” Trump said.
“We’re going to see what happens. A lot of things are happening with respect to China. We’re not happy, obviously, with what happened. This is a bad situation all over the world, 182 countries. But we’ll be having a lot to say about that,” he said in response to a question.
The novel virus, which originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan last December, has so far killed over 2,39,615 people globally. While the total number of cases is going down in the mainland and life is touching normalcy, cases continue to surge in other countries.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, in a recent interview with Buck Sexton of The Buck Sexton Show, blamed China for not being transparent on the issue of coronavirus.
“They’ve claimed that they have been transparent, but of course, at least as of a day or two ago, we still didn’t actually have a sample of the virus. We were still working to try to understand what the scope of the risk was,” he said.
He claimed that China tried to stop people from talking about it. They were told “don’t talk about that, stop it” and discussions were banned early on, he added.
Pompeo's claims stand true in this regard. Li Wenliang, a Chinese doctor who worked at the Wuhan Central Hospital had warned his colleagues on 30 December 2019 about a possible outbreak of an illness that resembled SARS. He was, however, summoned by the police for "making false comments on the Internet".
Dr. Wenliang later died of COVID-19 after contracting it from a patient.