US President Donald Trump has hit out at China for being “very secretive” in sharing information on its coronavirus outbreak that has claimed over 13,000 lives globally, asserting that the US and the world would have been better prepared if Beijing gave an “advance warning” about the impending crisis.
Speaking at a press briefing, Trump denied reports that the US intelligence reports in January and February had warned of a coming pandemic, saying America did not know about the outbreak until it started coming out publicly.
“China was very secretive (on coronavirus). Very, very secretive. And that’s unfortunate,” he told reporters. Trump reiterated that he greatly respects China and shares a very good relationship with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping, but expressed his disappointment that Beijing was dishonest and slow to alert the world about the seriousness of coronavirus.
“I have great respect for that country. I have great respect for the leader of that country and like him. He’s a friend of mine. But I wish they would have told us earlier, that they were having a problem,” he said.
As per latest figures available at Worldometers, the United States with 26,686 confirmed cases has emerged as the third most coronavirus infected country after China (81,054) and Italy (53,578).