White House trade adviser Peter Navarro is blasting China’s transparency about the coronavirus as well as its stockpiling of personal protective equipment in the early days of the outbreak.
“If you think about what China did over the course of this thing, they did four things that led to the deaths of many people worldwide,” Navarro said during an interview on Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures.”
He continued, “First of all the virus was spawned in China. Second of all they hid the virus behind the shield of the World Health Organization. The third thing they did was basically hoard personal protective equipment — and now they’re profiteering from it.”
Navarro turned to reports that the virus originated in a virology lab, “What we know is that the ground zero for this virus was within a few miles of that lab.”
“The simplest explanation is probably the most likely. I think it’s incumbent on China to prove that it wasn’t that lab,” he said.
He also accused Chinese officials of hiding information about the virus in the early days of the outbreak.
“This was a time where that virus could have been contained in Wuhan,” he said. “Instead, 5 million Chinese people went out from Wuhan and propagated the virus around the world.”
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Additionally, Navarro slammed China and accused the government of hoarding personal protective equipment so it could sell it to the world.
“They basically went around and vacuumed up virtually all the PPE around the world,” he said, adding, “What that did was leave people in New York, Milan, and everywhere in between defenseless when it came time to have that PPE.”
“China is sitting on that hoard of PPE where it cornered the market and its profiteering,” he said.
Navarro’s comments come as recent reports say the U.S. is investigating if the virus originated in a lab in Wuhan, China.
Some officials believe the virus was not developed as a bioweapon but was part of an effort by China to prove it was better than the U.S. at identifying and combating viruses.
The lab has denied that the coronavirus originated there.