Trump demands China pay ‘reparations’ for role in coronavirus pandemic
Former President Trump on Saturday called for China to pay “reparations” for its role in the coronavirus pandemic amid a renewed debate around its origins.
Speaking at North Carolina’s GOP state convention, Trump said “the time has come” for the world to hold China accountable for its role in the pandemic.
“The time has come for America and the world to demand reparations and accountability from the Communist Party of China,” Trump said to applause. “China must pay, they must pay.”
The comment comes as the theory that COVID-19 originated in a laboratory in Wuhan, China gains renewed attention after previously being dismissed.
The World Health Organization released a report earlier this year dismissing the lab leak theory as “extremely unlikely.”
The Wall Street Journal reported last month that scientists at Wuhan’s Institute of Virology became so ill with COVID-19-like symptoms that they required hospitalization in November 2019, reigniting interest in the lab leak theory.
Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious diseases expert, told The Financial Times in an interview published Friday that he wanted to see the records of the scientists who reportedly got sick.
“I would like to see the medical records of the three people who are reported to have got sick in 2019,” Fauci told the news outlet. “Did they really get sick, and if so, what did they get sick with?”
President Biden late last month ordered the intelligence community to “redouble their efforts” to come to a definitive conclusion on the virus’s origins, and to report back within 90 days.
Trump, who was among the first to blame a lab leak for the virus, issued a statement last month claiming vindication for the assertion, and doubled down of his use of anti-Chinese rhetoric. However, he never produced any evidence.
Trump said on Saturday that nations of the world should “work together to present China bill for a minimum of $10 trillion to compensate for the damage they’ve caused.”
“The damage is far, far greater than that,” Trump continued. “As a first step, all countries should collectively cancel any debt they owe to China as a down payment on reparations.”
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