Peter Navarro, US President Donald Trump's trade adviser tasked to provide personal protective equipment for US medical workers, said in the interview to CBS News that the "original sin" of the coronavirus crisis that the country currently faces was its lack of "domestic production of essential medicines, medical countermeasures, medical supplies like masks and medical equipment like ventilators".
"We wouldn't be having this problem if we had the domestic production of essential medicines, medical countermeasures, medical supplies like masks and medical equipment like ventilators. If we made it here, we wouldn't be faced with this. That was, that was the original sin", Navarro said during the interview.
Navarro insisted that the coronavirus crisis stems from "globalization of production through multinational corporations".
"It's the global... globalization of production through multinational corporations, who salute no flag, who love cheap sweatshop labor, and who love the massive subsidies that the Chinese government throws at production to bring it from here to there", he noted.
His comments come as a lack of medical equipment has affected healthcare workers in the US. Hospitals in the country are taking extraordinary measures to cope with existing and feared shortages of equipment by taking non-traditional and unapproved measures such as converting anesthetic machines for use as ventilators or even re-using masks.
Navarro insisted that the Trump administration was "doing its best" and remarked that he would make "no apologies from this administration".
"We're moving in Trump time, which is to say as swiftly as possible. If you look at the trajectory of events we... we learn about the potential for a pandemic. We're not sure what the scope of it will be. The Trump administration starts rapidly mobilizing. But this is the 500-year flood. And it takes time", Navarro said.
As of 13 April, there are more than 557,000 coronavirus cases in the US with more than 22,000 fatalities, according to Johns Hopkins University data.