30 April 2020   Leave a comment

It appears as if US President Trump will be making China’s role in the COVID-19 pandemic a central theme in his re-election campaign. The BBC reports:

“Mr Trump has recently been escalating his war of words with China over the pandemic after what officials within the US president’s administration had described as a truce with Beijing.

“On Wednesday, he suggested China wanted him to lose his re-election bid in November.

“Mr Trump has often blamed China at briefings, accusing its officials of covering up the virus early on and saying they could have stopped the “disease from spreading.

“He has similarly criticised the WHO and withdrawn US funding for the global body.

“China’s Foreign Ministry, meanwhile, has accused the Trump administration of trying to distract from its own problems tackling the crisis.

“A ministry spokesman has also repeatedly promoted the idea – without evidence – that Covid-19 might have originated in the US.

According to the Washington Post, the Trump administration is looking into ways to punish China financially. Discussions reportedly include allowing the US government to sue China for damages or cancelling debt obligations.”

There seems to be no question that the virus originated in China but there are questions about how it came about. There have been rumors that the virus was developed in the viral laboratory in Wuhan. But US intelligence has determined that the virus is of natural origin and not made by humans. Nonetheless, President Trump has apparently directed the US intelligence services to “hunt for evidence” linking the laboratory to the virus. If the virus is not made by humans, there is a legitimate question of whether there were accidents that occurred in the laboratory that need to be answered. But that is a question for scientists to answer. There is no reason to treat the virus as a biological weapon. Such an approach diverts us from the urgent task of containing the virus and developing a vaccine against it.

Posted April 30, 2020 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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