Donald Trump, the former US president, has said India has been devastated by the coronavirus pandemic and called for China to pay $10 trillion to the United States for allegedly being responsible for the spread of Covid-19 across the world. Trump has been blaming China for the coronavirus pandemic and said that Sars-Cov-2, which causes the coronavirus disease, leaked from a laboratory in Wuhan.
“Look at what’s going on in India now. You know, they used to say, look how well India was doing, because they were always looking for an excuse — look how well India is doing. The fact that India has just been devastated now, and virtually, every country has been devastated,” Trump said, according to news agency PTI.
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India battled the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic in April overwhelming the health infrastructure in most states with hospitals reeling under a shortage of medical oxygen and beds. However, the number of Covid-19 infections and deaths have come down in the past few weeks in June.
Trump said China should pay more as compensation to the world. “The number (compensation) is much higher than that. But there’s only so much they can pay. And that’s to us (United States). The number is bigger throughout the world. Look, countries have been destroyed over what they did, and whether by accident or not. And I would hope that it was an accident. I hope that it was through incompetence or an accident,” Trump said in response to a question.
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“But, when you look, whether it was by an accident, whether it was — whatever it is, this — you look at these countries. They will never, ever be the same. Our country was hit so hard. But other countries were hit much harder,” he said as he went on to cite India, which is currently experiencing the worst ever public health crisis.
“I think that’s one of the reasons that I feel it’s very important to find out where it came from, how it came. I think I know. I mean, I feel certain about it. But certainly, China should help. Right now, their economy and our economy are the two economies that are coming back the fastest,” he argued.
The origin of the coronavirus pandemic has become a source of political tension between China and the US, with much of the recent focus on the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) in Wuhan where the outbreak was first identified in late 2019. China has been criticised for its lack of transparency when it comes to disclosing data about early cases as well as the viruses studied at WIV.
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According to a joint study published in March by China-World Health Organization (WHO), Covid-19 most likely originated in the country’s wildlife trade, with the virus passing into humans from bats via an intermediary species. But China has said that Covid-19 entered the country from overseas via contaminated frozen food, while a number of foreign politicians are also calling for more investigations into the possibility it leaked from a laboratory.
The chief epidemiologist with the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Zeng Guang, told state-owned tabloid the Global Times that attention should shift to the United States, which was slow to test people in the early stages of the outbreak, and is also the home of many biological laboratories. “All bio-weapons related subjects that the country has should be subject to scrutiny,” he was quoted as saying by the Global Times.
According to the Johns Hopkins University Covid-19 tracker on Thursday, the number of coronavirus disease cases globally stands at 177,136,569 and 3,835,123 people have died from it.
(With PTi inputs)