Trump’s trade adviser Navarro links coronavirus to China government
- Peter Navarro, a fierce China hawk, revives a long-standing dispute over the origin of the novel coronavirus
- China firmly rejects any allegation that it deliberately unleashed the virus
White House trade adviser Peter Navarro has called the coronavirus a “product of the Chinese Communist Party” and suggested without evidence it may have been intentionally created by the Chinese government.
Navarro told CNN’s State of the Union that it remained unclear how the virus started and “until we get some information about what happened in those labs or what happened in that wet market, we know that the virus was spawned in China”.
US President Donald Trump and his allies have been repeating the unsubstantiated theory linking the outbreak’s origin to a possible accident at a Chinese virology laboratory. US officials describe the evidence as purely circumstantial.
The leading theory is that infection among humans began at an animal market in Wuhan.
Navarro said it was “open question” whether the virus was purposefully created. He said in his view, the Chinese government was “guilty until proven innocent”.
“That virus came out of China,” he said. “The Chinese Communist Party is responsible for it. They spawned the virus in China, they hid it for two months, and they killed over 100,000 Americans.”
China firmly rejects any allegation that it deliberately unleashed the virus.
Trump ‘pleaded’ for China to help him get re-elected, writes former US adviser Bolton in new book
Navarro said that the explosive allegation made in a book by Bolton was “just silly” given how tough Trump had been on China and its unfair trade practices.
“I never heard that. I was in the room,” Navarro said, echoing remarks by US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer last week.
Bolton should face consequences – including potentially time in prison – for using “highly classified information” throughout the book, Navarro said.
Navarro, a fierce China hawk, also revived a long-standing dispute over the origin of the novel coronavirus virus that has inflamed tensions between the United States and China in recent months, even after the world’s two largest economies signed a Phase 1 trade deal in January.
Last week, Trump renewed his threat to cut ties with China, tweeting that “a complete decoupling from China” remained a policy option for the United States.
Associated Press and Reuters