US seeks more than $140 bn damages from China

The US is carrying out a "very serious" investigation against China, President Donald Trump has said, indicating that his administration is looking at a bigger compensation from Beijing than the USD 140 billion being sought by Germany over the coronavirus pandemic. The deadly contagion, which originated in China in mid-November, has so far killed more than 2 lakh people and infected over three million globally. The largest number of them are in the US: more than 56,000 deaths and over one million infections.

Leaders of the US, the UK and Germany increasingly believe that the unfortunate deaths of so many people and destruction of the global economy could have been avoided, if China had shown transparency and shared the information about the virus in its early phases. 

Many countries have started talking about claiming compensation from China. Trump, during the Rose Garden press conference on Monday, was asked about Germany planning to send a bill to China for euro 130 billion (USD 140 billion) for the damages. 

"Would your administration look at doing the same?' "Well, we can do something much easier than that. We have ways of doing things a lot easier than that,' the President replied. "Germany is looking at things and we're looking at things and we're talking about a lot more money than Germany is talking about. 

"We haven't determined the final amount yet, but "it is very substantial," Trump said. After the US, Europe has been the worst hit by the virus. In India, mainly because of the early and aggressive preventive measures, the fatalities have remained low at 886 and infections at 28,000. 

"If you look at the world, I mean, this is a worldwide damage. This is a damage to the US but this is a damage to the world," said the President. Trump said there are "a lot of ways" one can hold China accountable for the spread of the virus. "We're doing very serious investigations, as you probably know. We are not happy with China,' he said. 

"We are not happy with that whole situation because we believe it could've been stopped at the source. It could've been stopped quickly and it wouldn't have spread all over the world. And we think that should have happened. So, we'll let you know at the appropriate time, but we are doing serious investigations," Trump said. -- PTI

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