- Donald Trump said Wednesday that he is considering recommendations on how to retaliate against China and the World Health Organization
- He claims both entities hid the truth about the severity of coronavirus from the rest of the world and exacerbated the outbreak
- ‘We’re coming up with a very distinct recommendation. But we’re not happy with it,’ Trump told reporters in the Oval Office
- On Monday, the president demanded Beijing pay reparations for the damages caused by COVID-19
- Trump said he was receiving bits of information from intelligence investigations
- The White House tasked the NSA, CIA and Defense Intelligence Agency to investigate whether China hid the emerging coronavirus threat from the world
- Trump continues to blame China for the severity of the virus in the U.S. by claiming Beijing hid the virus’ emergence from Wuhan earlier this yearDonald Trump said Wednesday that the U.S. will be taking strong action against China as he ordered investigations into Beijing after claiming they knew about the coronavirus threat earlier than let on and could have done more to stop the pandemic.’We’re coming up with a very distinct recommendation. But we’re not happy with it,’ Trump said of potential economic consequences against China.’There’s nothing positive about what happened in China having to do with this subject. Nothing positive at all,’ the president continued while speaking to reporters during an Oval Office meeting with Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards, a Democrat.
Louisiana is one of the states hardest hit by coronavirus after a hot spot emerged in New Orleans following the massive Mardi Gras celebrations in late February.
‘We’re lucky that we stopped it in January flowing into our country from China,’ Trump said, lauding his decision to shut down travel from China to the U.S. earlier this year – aside from allowing U.S. citizens to return home.
The president said the World Health Organization was acting like it worked for China, and said he would be issuing a ‘recommendation’ on how to deal with WHO and China.
He already demanded earlier this week that Beijing pay reparations for the damages caused by coronavirus in the U.S. – insisting that China was secretive and hid the severity of COVID-19 early on in the outbreak when it was still contained to Wuhan, where the virus originated.
A Wednesday morning report revealed that the White House ordered intelligence investigations into whether China initially downplayed and hid the emerging coronavirus threat, a Wednesday report revealed, as Donald Trump continues to place blame for the size of the pandemic.
‘It’s coming in and I’m getting pieces already,’ Trump said of the investigations by the NSA, CIA and the Defense Intelligence Agency. ‘And we’re not happy about it.’
‘We are by far the largest contributor to WHO – world health. And they misled us,’ he said, confirming he feels WHO also lied about what they knew early on about the virus. ‘I don’t know – they must have known more than they knew.’
‘We knew things that they didn’t know – either they didn’t know or they didn’t tell us,’ he continued. ‘Right now they’re literally a pipe organ for China. That’s the way I view it. So, we’re seeing and we’re looking and we’re watching.’
‘Again we give $500 million – we have over the years – from $400-$500 for a long time, for many years. And China is giving $38 million, and yet they seem to work for China,’ he lamented.
Intelligence agencies received directives from the White House last week seeking information on the early days of the coronavirus outbreak, including communication intercepts, human source reporting and satellite imagery reviews from China and WHO, current and former officials familiar with the directions told NBC News.
One official revealed that the ‘tasking’ was sent last week to the National Security Agency and Defense Intelligence Agency, which includes the National Center for Medical Agency.
The CIA also received a similar request, the officials said.
Trump appeared to make reference to the orders during his Monday press conference at the White House.
‘We’re doing very serious investigations,’ the president said during his nearly-daily briefing. ‘We are not happy with that whole situation, because we believe it could have been stopped at the source, it could have been stopped quickly, and it wouldn’t have spread all over the world.’