U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday speculated that China could have unleashed the coronavirus on the world due to some kind of horrible “mistake” and even suggested the release could have been intentional.
He made the comments after his intelligence agencies said they were still examining a notion put forward by the president and aides that the pandemic may have resulted from an accident at a Chinese laboratory.
Questioned about the report during an event at the White House, the president claimed to have seen evidence to support the theory that the origin was an infectious disease lab in Wuhan, the epicentre of the Chinese outbreak.
“It’s a terrible thing that happened”, Trump said, adding: “Whether they made a mistake or whether it started off as a mistake and then they made another one, or did somebody do something on purpose.”
In recent days, the Trump administration has sharpened its rhetoric on China, accusing the geopolitical foe and vital trading partner of failing to act swiftly enough to sound the alarm about the outbreak or to stop the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19.
And the president on Thursday repeatedly blamed China for its handling of the outbreak, criticising the country for restricting domestic travel to slow the virus but not international travel to keep it from spreading abroad.
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