WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump said he believes China’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic is proof that Beijing “will do anything they can” to make him lose his re-election bid in November.
Trump talked tough on China and said he was looking at different options in terms of consequences for Beijing over the virus. “I can do a lot,” he said.
Trump has been heaping blame on China for a global pandemic that has killed at least 60,000 people in the United States, according to a media tally, and thrown the U.S. economy into a deep recession, putting in jeopardy his hopes for another four-year term.
The Republican president, often accused of not acting early enough to prepare the United States for the spread of the novel coronavirus, said he believed China should have been more active in letting the world know about the virus much sooner.
Asked whether he was considering the use of tariffs or even debt write-offs for China, Trump would not offer specifics. “There are many things I can do,” he said. “We’re looking for what happened.” —Agencies