WASHINGTON—Lambasting the rival superpower for what he called “reckless” and “irresponsible” behavior, President Donald Trump publicly blamed China Monday for acting too late in coordinating the U.S. Covid-19 response. “China knew our nation was facing a deadly threat as early as January, and yet they did nothing to develop a plan we could use to slow the spread of the virus,” said Trump, noting thousands of American lives could have been saved if Chinese president Xi Jinping had only taken the threat seriously from the start and implemented a strategy to reduce the negative impact on the U.S. economy. “The Chinese government just kept waiting and waiting, sitting on their hands as the outbreak spread through the U.S. rather than leading our nation in the way it so desperately needed. States shouldn’t be left out to dry, putting together piecemeal pandemic responses. What else is a strong Communist Party for? And now they’re trying to cover it up, claiming the U.S. isn’t their responsibility.” At press time, Trump added the administration had obtained new intelligence suggesting the Chinese government had engineered coronavirus in a lab in Washington.
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