New Delhi: US President Donald Trump on Saturday said that China could face ‘consequences’ if it comes out that it was ‘knowingly responsible’ for the coronavirus pandemic. Also Read - Coronavirus: US Cases Cross 7 Lakh Mark as Trump Says Death Toll in China 'Far Higher'
Speaking at his daily coronavirus task force briefing at the White House, Trump said, “It could have been stopped in China before it started but wasn’t. And now, the whole world is suffering because of it.” Also Read - Looking Into Reports That Coronavirus 'Escaped' From Wuhan Lab: Trump
On being asked if China was responsible for and should suffer ‘consequences’ for spreading the pandemic, he said, “If they were knowingly responsible, certainly. But if it was a mistake, a mistake is a mistake.” Also Read - Ivanka Trump Goes on Holiday Trip With Husband Amid Lockdown, White House Comes to Her Defence
“But if they were knowingly responsible, then, yeah, they should suffer consequences,” he further said.
He added that there was a big difference between a mistake that went out of control and something done deliberately.
Notably, China, where the pandemic began in December in the city of Wuhan, has repeatedly tried to shirk responsibility for COVID-19 spread and has previously even gone on to suggest that it was the US military that, in fact, may have brought the virus into China.
Amid claims that it is hiding its actual COVID-19 numbers, China recently also increased its death toll by nearly 1,300, taking it to 4,632 in a total of nearly 83,000 cases.
Despite this, however, Trump, as well as many other countries have said that China’s actual numbers are ‘far higher.’