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Donald Trump has claimed he has seen evidence indicating that the coronavirus originated in a medical laboratory in Wuhan, China, and may have been released on the world by mistake while threatening to slap a new round of tariffs on the rival superpower he continues to blame for the outbreak.Speaking at the White House at an event in the East Room nominally about his administration’s efforts to aid seniors during the shutdown, Trump said: “It’s a terrible thing that happened.
“Whether they made a mistake or whether it started off as a mistake and then they made another one, or did somebody do something on purpose.”
“Certainly it could have been stopped,” he continued. “They either couldn’t do it from a competence standpoint, or they let it spread… It got loose, let’s say, and they could have capped it.”
The Chinese government has said that any claims that the coronavirus was released from a laboratory are “unfounded and purely fabricated out of nothing”.
The country’s foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said: “I would like to point out again that the origin of the virus is a complex scientific issue and it should be studied by scientists and professionals.
Shuang criticised those in the US who say China should be held accountable for the global pandemic, saying they should spend their time on “better controlling the epidemic situation at home”.
Trump also used the session to again insist Beijing is invested in stopping his re-election and to claim he stopped praising the country as soon as the virus hit the US, which is simply not so, as the tweet below from late March indicates:
The presidents conspiracy theorising was branded yet another distraction by former FBI general counsel Andrew Weissman following on from several days of Trump lashing out at the media and the bureau for its investigations of several of his allies.