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US President Donald Trump has issued a scathing attack on China for 'unleashing' the coronavirus on the world.
During a press conference, Trump said he holds the country 'fully responsible' for the way the pandemic has played out in the world.
He said: "Make no mistake. We hold China fully responsible for concealing the virus and unleashing it upon the world. They could have stopped it, they should have stopped it. It would have been very easy to do at the source, when it happened."
Trump has accused and attacked China over the pandemic and claimed the country could have prevented Covid-19 from spreading around the globe.
While the US introduced a travel ban early into the pandemic, it still saw the number of cases rise and now has more infections than any other country.
Out of the world's 13.2 million cases, the US has 3.4 million, with 138,000 deaths.
In the months since the virus swept around the world, Trump has also blamed the World Health Organisation for not providing more information early on. As a result, Trump instructed his administration to pull American funding from the global health body.
The US is the largest single financial contributor to the organisation, giving around $400 million every year.
A State Department spokesperson has confirmed that Trump has formally informed UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres that he has begun the US pullout. It will come into effect by July next year, which leaves the move open to be repealed if he loses the federal election in November.
During his press conference today (14 July), Trump also said he was pausing talks over a trade deal with China.
"Look, we made a great trade deal - was done, the ink wasn't even dry, and they hit us with the plague. So right now, I'm not interested in talking to China about another deal. I'm interested in doing other things with China," he told reporters.
Trump has approved a bill that aims to rebuke China for its actions in Hong Kong.
The legislation will attempt to target police units who had cracked down on protestors in Hong Kong protesters. The mandatory sanctions will also apply to banks who conduct business with the officials.
"This law gives my administration powerful new tools to hold responsible the individuals and the entities involved in extinguishing Hong Kong's freedom," Mr Trump said.
"Their freedom has been taken away. Their rights have been taken away, and with it goes Hong Kong in my opinion, because it will no longer be able to compete with free markets. A lot of people will be leaving Hong Kong, I suspect."
Featured Image Credit: PA
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