In a Reuters interview Wednesday, US President Donald Trump said that China “will do anything they can to have [him] lose” the 2020 presidential election.
He also noted that he is considering different potential consequences for China regarding its handling of the coronavirus pandemic, claiming that he “can do a lot.” He added that the US trade deal with China has been “upset very badly” by the coronavirus. In addition, Trump stated on Monday that his administration was conducting “serious investigations” into China’s handling of the crisis and would seek damages for the US.
“We’re doing very serious investigations … We are not happy with China. We believe it could have been stopped at the source. It could have been stopped quickly and it wouldn’t have spread all over the world,” Trump said Monday during the daily coronavirus briefing.
Trump’s comments come after White House trade adviser Peter Navarro accused China of sending low-quality and counterfeit COVID-19 antibody testing kits to the US and of “profiteering” from the outbreak.
Washington has accused China of hiding the coronavirus epidemic when it first broke out in January and has ramped up such accusations in recent weeks. Earlier this month, Trump said he was going to halt funding to the World Health Organization, claiming that the international health watchdog covered up the spread of the infection after it was first reported in China.
This is not the first time Trump has accused China of interfering with his political standing. In 2018, Trump claimed that Beijing was trying to meddle with the midterm elections because he had imposed tariffs on billions of dollars worth of Chinese goods. During a United Nations Security Council meeting at the time, Trump said: “They do not want me or us to win because I am the first president to ever challenge China on trade.”