White House trade adviser Peter Navarro on Sunday called on China to prove that a Wuhan laboratory played no role in the coronavirus pandemic — and accused the nation of hoarding personal protective equipment and profiting off the outbreak.
Navarro took aim at China on Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures,” accusing the country of taking several actions that worsened the ongoing crisis and “led to the deaths of many people worldwide.”
“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 said.
US officials are reportedly investigating whether the virus escaped from a Chinese lab. The lab — the Wuhan Institute of Virology — has denied producing the virus.
“What we know is that the ground zero for this virus was within a few miles of that lab,” Navarro said.
“If you simply do an Occam’s razor approach that the simplest explanation is probably the most likely, I think it’s incumbent on China to prove that it wasn’t that lab.”
Navarro also blasted China for using its “influence” at the World Health Organization to “hide the virus from the world” in the early weeks 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.”
Last week, President Trump announced that the US would suspend payments to WHO, saying the group had failed to report accurate information from China during the early stages of the pandemic.
And, during that time, China hoarded PPE that it had imported, Navarro said, adding that the alleged actions left “people in New York, Milan, and everywhere in between defenseless when it came time to have that PPE.”
US exports of surgical masks, ventilators and other protective gear to China skyrocketed in January and February, USA Today reported.
The Post reported earlier this month that the Trump administration was weighing legal action against China for allegedly trying to corner the market on PPE.