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'I Don't Talk About Retaliation': Trump Reiterates Stance China Failed to Contain COVID-19

© REUTERS / Leah MillisU.S. President Donald Trump participates in a Cabinet meeting on the administration's coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak response in the East Room at the White House in Washington, U.S., May 19, 2020
U.S. President Donald Trump participates in a Cabinet meeting on the administration's coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak response in the East Room at the White House in Washington, U.S., May 19, 2020 - Sputnik International
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US President Donald Trump on Tuesday restated that Washington plans to retaliate against Beijing over its purported inaction to contain the COVID-19 novel coronavirus in the Chinese city of Wuhan.

During the question segment of his May 19 cabinet meeting in the White House East Room, the US president was asked by a reporter whether he had decided on an appropriate response to China for their alleged mishandling of the novel coronavirus. 

"I don't talk about retaliation," Trump responded to the reporter. However, he did note that he was "very disappointed in China" over the situation. 

Late last month, Trump floated the idea of using tariffs as a retaliatory measure, rather than canceling US debt obligations to China. 

"I could do it differently, I could do the same thing but even for more money, just by putting on tariffs," he said on April 30. 

Trump's continued comments against Beijing, in regards to COVID-19, on Tuesday followed the US president's issuance of a letter to World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on May 18. 

​The "self-explanatory" letter threatened permanently freeze funding to the United Nations health organization and "reconsider" membership with WHO if the agency "does not commit to major substantive improvements within the next 30 days." 

Trump issued the letter to the WHO after slamming the organization, expressing that he is "not happy with the World Health Organization."

"I’ll be giving them a statement sometime in the near future, but I chose not to give a statement," the US president noted on May 18. 

According to the document reposted to Trump's Twitter, the WHO "consistently ignored credible reports" related to the COVID-19 outbreak in early December 2019, "including reports from the Lancet medical journal." 

Weekly peer-reviewed general medical journal The Lancet has deemed the US president's letter to the WHO director-general as "factually inaccurate," noting that it "published no report in December, 2019, referring to a virus or outbreak in Wuhan or anywhere else in China." 

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