US President Donald Trump suggested on Monday that he may seek damages from China over the coronavirus outbreak which began in the Chinese city of Wuhan and spread around the world.
“We are not happy with China,” Trump said at a White House 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,” he said.
“There are a lot of ways you can hold them accountable,” Trump said. “We’re doing some very serious investigations as you probably know.”
Trump was asked about a recent German newspaper editorial which called on China to pay Germany $165 billion in reparations because of economic damage done by the virus.
Asked if the US would consider doing the same, the US president said “we can do something much easier than that.”
“Germany is looking at things, we are looking at things,” he said. “We are talking about a lot more money than Germany’s talking about.”
“We haven’t determined the final amount yet,” Trump said. “It’s very substantial.
“This is worldwide damage,” he said. “This is damage to the US, but this is damage to the world.”
There have been more than 55,000 coronavirus-related deaths in the United States and the pandemic has shut down huge swathes of the economy, leaving tens of millions unemployed.
Image: AFP / MANDEL NGAN US President Donald Trump said he may ask China for ‘very substantial’ damages because of the coronavirus pandemic