By Amaka Obi Abuja,
President Trump in an interview with Fox Business Network, signaled his disappointment over the inability of the Chinese government in containing the spread of the coronavirus.
“They should have never let this happen,” Trump said. “So I make a great trade deal and now I say this doesn’t feel the same to me. The ink was barely dry and the plague came over. And it doesn’t feel the same to me.”
“But I just – right now I don’t want to speak to him,” Trump said in the interview taped on Wednesday.
“There are many things we could do. We could do things. We could cut off the whole relationship,” he replied.
“Now, if you did, what would happen? You’d save $500 billion,” Trump said, referring to estimated U.S. annual imports from China, which he often refers to as lost money.
According to the U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, he told Fox Business Network that President
Trump has many options,
“The president is concerned. He’s reviewing all his options. Obviously, we’re very concerned about the impact of this virus on the economy, on American jobs, the health of the American public and the president is going to do everything to protect the economy and protect American workers,” Mnuchin said.
“It’s a difficult and complex matter and the president has made very clear, he wants more information. They didn’t let us in, they didn’t let us understand what was going on and the American public have right to understand all the facts.”
The remark from the President drew mockery from Hu Xijin, editor in chief of China’s influential Global Times tabloid, he said
“This president once suggested COVID-19 patients inject disinfectants,” Hu said on Twitter. “Remember this and you won’t be surprised when he said he could cut off the whole relationship with China.”
According to John Hopkins data, the U.S, has been hit the hardest by the pandemic and China still maintains that it has been transparent about the emergence of the virus.
Scott Kennedy of Washington’s Center for Strategic and International Studies think tank called Trump’s remarks “dangerous bravado.”
“Avoiding communication is not an effective strategy for solving a crisis that requires global cooperation.
And cutting off the economic relationship would badly damage the American economy,” he said.
The Global Times on Thursday said Beijing was seeking to label rising tensions with Washington.
“(China) still hopes that economic and trade issues will not be politicized because that is not good for either side,” it quoted Li Yong, deputy chairman of the Expert Committee of the China Association of International Trade, as saying.
Trump in his interview still maintains that China is to be blamed and they should have stopped it at all cost when it emerged.
“Whether it came from the lab or came from the bats, it all came from China, and they should have stopped it,” he said.
“It got out of control.”