Need to hold China accountable for spread of coronavirus: US

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Published: April 27, 2020 9:13:29 PM

Over the past few weeks, the Trump Administration has ramped up its rhetoric against China, accusing it of being non-transparent and holding it responsible for the spread of coronavirus across the world.

Navarro said that while the US economy is shut down because of the coronavirus, the Trump administration is engaged in the most rapid industrial mobilisation that the country has had since World War II.  (Reuters)

China needs to be held accountable for the spread of coronavirus across the world, a top White House official said on Monday, as it accused the Communist nation of profiteering from the situation by exporting low-quality antibody test kits. Over the past few weeks, the Trump Administration has ramped up its rhetoric against China, accusing it of being non-transparent and holding it responsible for the spread of coronavirus across the world.

“The virus first emerged in the Chinese city of Wuhan before turning out to be a pandemic, China spun that virus. They hid it for six weeks. They could have contained it in Wuhan. They didn’t. They seeded the world with this, with hundreds of thousands of Chinese getting on aircraft to Milan, to New York and other places,” Peter Navarro, director of the Office of Trade and Manufacturing and National Defense Production Act Policy Coordinator, told Fox News.

During that six-week period, what they did was they vacuumed up the world for personal protective equipment, over two billion masks, depriving public healthcare workers around the world from the defences they need. And today China’s profiteering basically from this situation, he said.

Navarro was responding to a question on comments made by Microsoft founder Bill Gates that it is not the time to blame China for this. It’s not time to talk about that. This is the time to take the great science we have, the fact that we’re in this together, you know, fix testing, treatments and get that vaccine. Minimise the trillions of dollars and many things that you can’t even dimensionalise in economic terms that are awful about the situation that we’re in. So, that’s a distraction, Gates told CNN in an interview. “I’m all for innovation, but we have to hold China accountable. And now China is even flooding us with these bad tests,” Navarro said.

“So, Mr Gates and I will differ on the need to hold China accountable. That’s certainly the case because the Chinese Communist Party basically inflicted this virus on the world. And we should never forget that here in America, Navarro said.

Navarro said that while the US economy is shut down because of the coronavirus, the Trump administration is engaged in the most rapid industrial mobilisation that the country has had since World War II.  Struggling to scale up the testing, India has also imported the antibody kits from China.

India’s apex health research body ICMR on Monday asked states to stop using the COVID-19 rapid antibody test kits procured from two Chinese companies and return them to be sent back to the suppliers.

In an advisory sent to chief secretaries of all states and Union Territories on Monday, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) said it “evaluated the kits of Guangzhou Wondfo Biotech and Zhuhai Livson Diagnostics in field conditions. The results have shown wide variation in their sensitivity, despite early promise of good performance for surveillance purpose”.

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