President Donald Trump is vowing to seek "very substantial" damages from China for its part in unleashing the coronavirus pandemic on the world.
"We haven't determined the final number; it's very substantial," Trump told reporters at the White House coronavirus task force daily briefing in the Rose Garden on Monday. "If you look at the world, I mean, this is worldwide damage. This is damage to the U.S., but this is damage to the world."
Trump was responding to a question about Germany sending China a $165 billion bill in reparations for the coronavirus damage inflicted on its county.
"We can do something much easier than that," Trump said, perhaps referring to an oft-mention move of merely withholding billions of U.S. debt held in bonds by China. "We have ways of doing things. Germany is looking at things, and we are looking at things. We are talking about a lot more money than Germany is talking about."
First, Trump vowed to complete the intelligence investigation in the Wuhan, China, virology lab the administration intelligence believes accidentally leaked the COVID-19 virus.
"We are doing very serious investigations, as you probably know, and we are not happy with China," Trump said. "We are not happy with that whole situation, because we believe it could have been stopped at the source. It could have been stopped quickly, and it wouldn't have spread all over the world.
"We think that should have happened. We'll let you know at the appropriate time, but we doing serious investigations."
Trump mentioned blame without mentioning China in his opening of the daily briefing Monday.
"There has been so much unnecessary death in this country," he said. "It could have been stopped. And it could've been stopped short, but somebody a long time ago it seems decided not to do it that way, and the whole world is suffering because of it, 184 countries at least."
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