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Navarro says coronavirus 'was a product of the Chinese communist party'

White House trade adviser Peter Navarro said Sunday the coronavirus was a “product of the Chinese Communist party” and suggested without evidence that the potentially fatal virus may have been purposefully created by the Chinese government. 

CNN’s Jake TapperJacob (Jake) Paul TapperBaltimore police chief calls for more 'boots on the ground' to handle crime wave Chuck Todd reluctant to 'ban' election deniers from 'Meet the Press' Police investigating death of TV anchor who uncovered Clinton tarmac meeting as suicide MORE clashed with Navarro in an interview on “State of the Union,” in which the White House official leveled accusations that China may have purposefully spawned the virus. 

“Did you say China created this virus, did I hear you wrong,” Tapper asked Navarro. 

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“You did not hear me wrong,” Navarro responded. “That virus was a product of the Chinese Communist party and until we get some information about what happened in those labs or what happened in that wet market we know that virus was spawned in China.” 

Asked if he thinks the virus was “purposefully created,” Navarro said “that’s an open question.” 

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“What I said was the virus came out of China, the Chinese Communist party is responsible for it and as far as I’m concerned,” Navarro said. 

He also said that in his mind, the Chinese government is “guilty until proven innocent." 

Tapper asked Navarro if he has evidence to back up his accusation against the Chinese government. 

Navarro responded that Tapper should be asking that question to the Chinese government. 

“If President Xi gave me an interview I would love to,” Tapper said, also noting a CNN special about the coronavirus pandemic and claiming that he’s been “very critical of the Chinese government.” 

“That doesn’t prevent you from asking the question everyday,” Navarro responded. 

“I’m not going to defend the Chinese government,” Tapper said 

“I’d love to see evidence for the allegations you seem to be suggesting is possible that they created this on purpose,” he added. 

China has defended its handling of the coronavirus pandemic, which originated in the city of Wuhan, and has said it “wasted no time” in sharing information about the virus.