Trump blames China’s virus response on desire to see him lose

first_imgDonald Trump blamed China’s response to the coronavirus outbreak on a desire to see him lose in November, as the US president intensified efforts to fault Beijing for his reelection challenges.Trump — speaking in an Oval Office interview with Reuters published Wednesday — didn’t provide evidence to support the claim that China would deliberately mishandle an outbreak that has killed more than 4,600 of its citizens. The president said that he was considering various ways to punish the Chinese government, which he has blamed for allowing the virus to spread across the world.“China will do anything they can to have me lose this race,” Trump said in the interview. He didn’t say what punitive actions he might take, but added: “There are many things I can do.” Trump also said during the interview that the US trade deal with China had been “upset very badly” by the economic fallout from the coronavirus crisis. The slowdown has made it more difficult for China to meet purchasing pledges included in a “phase one” trade pact reached between the two sides in January.Officials in Washington and Beijing have been firing charges at each other for weeks as the US became one of the countries hardest-hit by a disease first identified in the central Chinese city of Wuhan. The dispute has complicated global efforts to mount a coordinated response to the virus, with US officials emphasizing Chinese responsibility for failing to stop its spread.Republicans have been ratcheting up efforts to paint China as the villain, as Trump faces increased criticism of his handling of a crisis that has pushed the US economy toward recession. Some 55 percent of Americans disapprove of Trump’s handling of the pandemic, according to an NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll released Wednesday, while other surveys show the president trailing presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden nationally and in key swing states.China helped escalate the blame game with the US in March when a foreign ministry spokesman shared speculation on social media that American military personnel introduced the virus to Wuhan. While Trump has held off from the calling the pathogen that causes Covid-19 the “Chinese virus,” his campaign sent out a letter earlier this month accusing the country of “lying” about the outbreak.Earlier Wednesday, US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo said that China posed a threat to the world by hiding information about the origin of the coronavirus. The comments came after state broadcaster China Central Television’s top evening news program questioned the transparency and accuracy of US data on Covid-19 infections.“The Chinese Communist Party now has a responsibility to tell the world how this pandemic got out of China and all across the world, causing such global economic devastation,” Pompeo told Fox News in an interview in which he repeatedly criticized Beijing. “America needs to hold them accountable.”Topics :last_img read more

Mancini coy on summer plans

first_img He added: “My strategy is only one, to get the second position and try and win the FA Cup. After this we start to work for next year.” One player City have been linked heavily with this week is Shakhtar Donetsk’s £20million-rated Brazilian midfielder Fernandinho. Mancini downplayed the rumour when asked about it at his press conference to preview this weekend’s Premier League trip to Swansea, saying he expected the summer market to be competitive. He said: “I don’t know this. We can talk about Fernandinho. Fernandinho is a good player but he plays for Shakhtar. I don’t think there are a lot of good players (available) around the world. There are also four or five top teams who want to buy good players. It could be difficult.” With any new arrivals there could be departures and several City players have been linked with possible exits. Winger Scott Sinclair has been linked with a return to his former club Swansea and Mancini has conceded his future could lie elsewhere. The 24-year-old has struggled to catch the eye of Mancini and started just three games since his £6.2million move from the Liberty Stadium last August. Mancini said: “This situation with Sinclair is difficult because I didn’t give him a lot of chances to play. He is very unlucky. It is my fault, not his fault. A young player like Scott who is a good player deserves to play always. “For him, it was a really difficult year this year.” Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini intends to keep his summer recruitment plans under wraps until the end of the season. Having been dethroned as champions by rivals Manchester United, City could make major squad changes in the close season a bid to reclaim lost ground next term. Mancini missed on all his prime transfer targets last year and eventually made a series of mostly disappointing signings late in the summer window. He may want to move more decisively and earlier this time but, with numerous names being linked with the Etihad Stadium, he is not divulging much information. Mancini even joked that he may not be the right person ask, given the amount of speculation there has been over his own future throughout the season. He said: “You want to speak with me, with Pellegrini, with Guardiola, with Mourinho, with who?” center_img Press Associationlast_img read more