White House Adviser Peter Navarro claimed on a Sunday morning television program that China may have purposefully spread the novel coronavirus by sending infected citizens abroad. The statement comes after the virus has infected close to 8.9 million people around the world and claimed over 465,000 lives.
According to Newsweek, Navarro made the comments during an interview with CNN host Jake Tapper on State of the Union. The conversation originally began when Tapper asked Navarro if the Trump administration is preparing for a second wave of infections to spread across the country in the fall -- particularly important in light of the upcoming 2020 elections.
"Of course," Navarro replied.
"You prepare for what can possibly happen. I'm not saying it's going to happen. But of course you prepare. I'll tell you what. We're a lot more prepared under this president than we were when China foisted this on us to begin with," he added.
"China hoisted this on us," Navarro repeated.
"China created this virus, they hid the virus and they sent over hundreds of thousands of Chinese citizens here to spread that around and around the world," he added.
Though there have been some reports that China may have developed the novel coronavirus in a lab, many international governments and agencies continue to maintain that they believe the virus was neither "created" nor man-made.
However, many of the same governments and agencies -- including the United States' Intelligence Agencies -- have agreed that China had not been forthright in releasing information about the virus, with some even accusing the Middle Kingdom of hiding the extent of its damage. Chinese authorities have emphatically denied both charges.
But Navarro did not stop at the accusations of creating the virus and concealing its data. He also suggested that the Chinese government may have intentionally wanted its citizens to spread the virus.
"Whether they did that on purpose -- that's an open question -- but that's a fact," the White House adviser concluded.
It should be noted that no concrete evidence has been released to support Navarro's claims.
However, critics of the Chinese regime have pointed out that the Asian nation has taken advantage of the illness's effect on rival countries by increasing its presence in the region, particularly in the South China Sea and on its disputed borders with India.
Meanwhile, President Trump hit out at the Chinese government and the virus at his campaign rally in Tulsa held on Saturday. As was previously reported by The Inquisitr, Trump called COVID-19 the "kung flu," a title that many have claimed is racist.