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Trump Blames China for COVID-19 Pandemic, Wuhan Institute of Virology denies Charges that COVID-19 Originated in its Labs

  • The US President Donald Trump has yet again blamed China for the spread of COVID-19 coronavirus to the world and the consequent pandemic that has not only killed more than 160,000 across the world but also crippled the world economy as a whole. President Trump went on to question whether the coronavirus crisis was started by China by mistake that got out of hand or deliberate. At the daily White House briefing, Trump said that China would face the consequences if it knowingly spread the COVID-19. However, he didn’t specify the actions that the US could undertake if it was found out that China deliberately spread coronavirus. While briefing the reporters, the US President was categorical in saying that China could have easily stopped the spread even before it started but it didn’t and consequently “the whole world is suffering from it”. Trump’s new rhetoric has come just days after he called COVID-19 a “Chinese Virus” in the recent past. While many senior aides of Trump had also earlier accused China of lack of transparency, the accusations have resurfaced after the Chinese authorities have revised the death count due to COVID-19 by around 50% recently. The coordinator of the White House coronavirus taskforce, Dr. Deborah Birx, questioned why the death rate in China per 100,000 people is substantially low in comparison to that of the US and other major European countries. She went on to describe the figures gives by China as “unrealistic” and reminded China about its “moral obligation” of providing credible information to the rest of the world. Under mounting pressure, vice director of the Wuhan Institute of Virology, Yuan Zhiming, has called the accusations “conspiracy theory”, designed to “confuse” people. Trump’s critics say that the current US President is trying to deflect the issue from his mishandling of the COVID-19 coronavirus crisis in the US to Beijing. This is especially true because the latest Gallup polls show that President Trump’s approval rating has dropped from 49% in March 2020 to 43% in April 2020, which is the sharpest fall for Trump’s presidency. His disapproval rating has increased from 45% during March to 54% in the April 1-14 poll. These figures are especially important because of the upcoming US Presidential election in November 2020.