Trump says China caused pandemic by 'horrible mistake'

Trump says China made a ‘horrible mistake’ and tried to cover-up coronavirus outbreak, hours after Mike Pompeo claimed there was ‘enormous evidence’ that COVID-19 escaped a Wuhan lab

  • President Donald Trump said the coronavirus outbreak is the result of a ‘horrible mistake’ made by China, during Sunday’s Fox News virtual town hall 
  • He said that there’s evidence to prove China misled the global community over the severity of COVID-19 and the nation didn’t want to ‘admit’ their ‘mistake’
  • He said government is working on a ‘very conclusive’ report on the virus’ origin
  • Earlier Sunday Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said there’s ‘enormous evidence’ the virus originated from a Wuhan lab 
  • A DHS report obtained Sunday revealed US officials believe China ‘intentionally concealed the severity’ of pandemic and hoarded medical supplies 
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

President Donald Trump suggested that the coronavirus pandemic sweeping the globe is the result of a ‘horrible mistake’ made by China. 

The president continued to point the finger at Beijing on Sunday during a Fox News virtual town hall meeting at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. where he said China sparked the outbreak before scrambling to cover it up. 

When asked if there was enough evidence to prove Xi Jinping’s regime misled the global community over the virus, the president said there was.

‘Well, I don’t think there’s any question about it. We wanted to go in, they didn’t want us to go in. Things are coming out that are pretty compelling. I don’t think there’s any question,’ Trump said Sunday.

‘Personally, I think they made a horrible mistake, and they didn’t want to admit it,’ he added.

His comments come as a Department of Homeland Security report shared on Sunday revealed US officials believe China ‘intentionally concealed the severity’ of the pandemic in early January and hoarded medical supplies.

The four-page report dated May 1 that was obtained by the Associated Press notes that China downplayed the virus publicly but increased imports and decreased exports of medical supplies. 

The document accuses China of covering their tracks by ‘denying there were export restrictions and obfuscating and delaying provision of its trade data.’

It lends weight to a leaked dossier drawn up by the Five Eyes intelligence alliance which describes how Beijing made whistleblowers ‘disappear’, destroyed early virus samples and scrubbed the internet of any mention of the disease in the early stages. 

In a wide-ranging interview last night:

  • The president said he believed a coronavirus vaccine could be developed by the end of the year;
  • He lashed out at Democrats who he said were motivated by politics and ‘don’t want to see a good result’;
  • Trump conceded that 100,000 Americans could die from the disease, after initially touting 60,000 as the final toll;
  • Trump claimed he has been treated worse than Abraham Lincoln by the press, as he sat in the shadow of the 16th president’s memorial;
  • Vice president Mike Pence admitted he should have worn a mask when he visited the Mayo clinic following a backlash for flouting the rules.

 President Donald Trump suggested that the coronavirus pandemic sweeping the globe is the result of a ‘horrible mistake’ made by China

The president continued to point the finger at Beijing on Sunday during a Fox News virtual town hall meeting at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. where he said China sparked the outbreak before scrambling to cover it up

‘Personally, I think they made a horrible mistake, and they didn’t want to admit it…like a fire…They couldn’t put out the fire,’ the president said

Trump predicts the US will have a COVID-19 vaccine ‘by the end of the year’ 

President Donald Trump expressed optimism that there would be a coronavirus vaccine by the conclusion of 2020.  

‘We are very confident that we are going to have a vaccine by the end of the year,’ he said Sunday night. 

‘We think we’ll have a vaccine by the end of this year. And we’re pushing very hard. We’re building supply lines now and we don’t even have the final vaccine,’ Trump said. 

He pointed to Johnson & Johnson as one company making a dent. 

‘Many companies, I think, are close,’ he told the Fox News Channel hosts. 

Admitting that it didn’t sound like his usual ‘America First’ rhetoric, Trump answered, ‘I don’t care,’ when asked how he would feel if another country developed a successful vaccine first. 

‘I really just want to get a vaccine that works,’ the president said.  

In Sunday’s virtual town hall, Trump said that China failed to admit their mistake in refusing to accept global aid. 

‘We wanted to go in, but they didn’t want us there. Even World Health wanted to go in – they were admitted but much later, not immediately. They made a mistake, they tried to cover it, like a fire…They couldn’t put out the fire,’ Trump said. 

He condemned the Communist nation for not alerting global leaders on the severity of the outbreak while continuing to allow flights to exit China.  

‘What they really treated the world badly on, they stopped people from going into China but they didn’t stop people from going into the USA and all the rest of the world.’ 

‘They knew they had a problem, I think they were embarrassed by the problem,’ Trump added.

When asked about President Xi, Trump said ‘I’m not going to say anything’ but ‘this should never have happened’.

Trump said that the federal government is putting together a ‘strong’ report on the origin of COVID-19 that has infected over a million in the US and killed over 68,000, adding it will be ‘very conclusive’.  

Last week Trump told reporters that he had seen proof that suggests the virus originated in the lab, but he did not go into detail.  

Vice President Mike Pence and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin watch as U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during the ‘America Together. Returning to Work’ town hall

In Sunday’s virtual town hall, Trump said that China failed to admit their mistake in refusing to accept global aid

Last week Trump told reporters that he had seen proof that suggests the virus originated in the lab, but he did not go into detail. The Wuhan Institute of Virology located near the wet market where Chinese officials claim the virus emerged from pictured above

Diplomats had complained about the slack safety measures at the Wuhan Institute of Virology in the years prior to the coronavirus outbreak

President Trump tweeted Sunday that the intelligence reports prove he wasn’t late in addressing the coronavirus crisis because he had not been briefed on the matter until late January

President Trump answered that he acted the way he did in the press briefings because nearly 100 per cent of reporters in the room are ‘hostile’ to him. He then claimed he was treated worse than Abraham Lincoln, who was assassinated 

Earlier on Sunday Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that ‘a significant amount of evidence’ suggested the virus came from the Wuhan lab.

‘I can tell you that there is a significant amount of evidence that this came from that laboratory in Wuhan. These are not the first time that we’ve had a world exposed to viruses as a result of failures in a Chinese lab,’ Pompeo said on ABC’s This Week. 

The US intelligence community said it believes that COVID-19 was not ‘manmade or genetically modified’ but was investigating whether it was caused by ‘an accident at a laboratory in Wuhan’.

However, Chinese officials and scientists have denied that there is any connection between the outbreak and the Institute of Virology in Wuhan that studies infectious diseases including coronavirus. 

Experts believe the virus started spreading as early as February in the United States before it forced states to issue lockdown directives for millions of Americans beginning in mid-March. 

Last week, Trump claimed that he had seen evidence that coronavirus started in the Wuhan virology laboratory and warned he could impose tariffs of $1trillion on China in retribution for the pandemic. 

‘Yes I have. Yes I have,’ Trump said when asked if he had seen proof the virus originated in the Wuhan Institute of Technology. 

In Sunday’s virtual town hall, Trump said that China failed to admit their mistake in refusing to accept global aid

President Trump holds still during a commercial break at Sunday night’s Fox News Channel town hall that was filmed at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington 

‘We’ve said from the beginning that this was a virus that originated in Wuhan, China,’ Pompeo said Sunday. ‘We took a lot of grief for that from the outset. Remember, China has a history of infecting the world, and they have a history of running substandard laboratories’

The Wuhan lab is located near a wet market that has been identified as the likely epicenter of the outbreak that took place late last year. 

However, the president would not divulge what the evidence was that confirmed his suspicions, when asked by a reporter.

‘I can’t tell you that. I am not allowed to tell you that,’ he responded.

The Five Eyes spy document, which was leaked to the Australian Telegraph on Saturday, also details how ‘risky’ bat-related virus studies were carried out at the Wuhan Institute of Virology. 

The 15-page document brands Beijing’s secrecy over the pandemic an ‘assault on international transparency’ and points to cover-up tactics deployed by the regime. 

It cites several studies led by scientist Dr. Shi Zhengli at the Institute into deadly bat-derived coronaviruses, with at least one of the virus samples being a 96 per cent genetic match for Covid-19.

But as part of a mass ‘suppression and destruction of evidence’, the state ordered samples of the virus to be destroyed in laboratories while wet market was bleached to extinguish remnants of the disease. 

On Sunday Trump blamed US intelligence officials for failing to warn the country about the severity of the virus tweeting: ‘Intelligence has just reported to me that I was correct, and that they did NOT bring up the CoronaVirus subject matter until late into January, just prior to my banning China from the U.S. Also, they only spoke of the Virus in a very non-threatening, or matter of fact, manner…’  

Counselor to the president Hope Hicks (left), who recently rejoined the administration, and new Chief of Staff Mark Meadows (center, speak to President Trump during a commercial break during Sunday night’s Fox News Channel town hall 

President Trump’s motorcade prepares to leave the White House Sunday for the short drive to the Lincoln Memorial 

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