In a Reuters interview Wednesday, Trump said that China “will do anything they can to have [him] lose” the 2020 presidential election. The president previously accused China of hiding the novel coronavirus epidemic back in January when it first broke out; however, he has seemingly decided to go back to that rhetoric once again, saying his administration was conducting “serious investigations” into China's handling of the crisis and would seek damages for the US.
Trump announced this shortly after White House trade adviser Peter Navarro accused China of sending low-quality and counterfeit COVID-19 antibody testing kits to the US and of "profiteering" from the outbreak after a series of controversial shipments.
Trump confirmed to White House reporters on Thursday that he has observed things that give him confidence that the contagious disease originated in the Wuhan Institute of Virology - a theory that goes against previous statements issued by the World Health Organization (WHO).
The president’s remarks came just hours after the Office of the Director of National Intelligence released a statement, saying that the COVID-19 virus was “not manmade or genetically modified.” He also told reporters that he was considering issuing new tariffs against China for its handling of the COVID-19 outbreak.
Earlier this month, Trump halted US funding to the WHO, claiming the international body covered up the spread of the infection after it was first reported in China.