• Sunday, March 03, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

Coronavirus outbreak: Trump says US may seek damages from China

Donald Trump

US President Donald Trump has suggested he may seek damages from China over the coronavirus outbreak which began in the Chinese city of Wuhan in 2019 and have spread around the world.

Trump said “we are not happy with China, 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,” he said.

“There are a lot of ways you can hold them accountable,” Mr Trump said. “We’re doing some very serious investigations as you probably know.”

“We haven’t determined the final amount yet,” Trump said. “It’s very substantial.

“This is worldwide damage,” he said. “This is damage to the US, but this is damage to the world.”

There have been over 56,000 coronavirus-related deaths in the United States and the pandemic has shut down huge portion of the economy, leaving millions unemployed.

Trump also addressed the mystery over the health and whereabouts of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, and appeared to say he is alive, saying he wished him well.

Asked if he had new information about Kim Jong-un’s health, Trump said “yes, I do have a very good idea, but I can’t talk about it now. I just wish him well.

“I hope he’s fine,” Trump continued, speaking at a White House press conference. “I do know how he’s doing, relatively speaking.”

Trump said the media would “probably be hearing in the not-too-distant future” about Kim.

Conjecture has grown since Kim’s conspicuous no-show at 15 April celebrations for the birthday of his grandfather Kim Il Sung, the North’s founder – the most important day in the country’s political calendar.

Kim has not made a public appearance since 11 April.

Amid media reports that he was ill and speculation that he might even have died, a top security adviser to South Korean President Moon Jae-in said on Sunday that Kim was in fact “alive and well”.