US President Donald Trump said on Thursday the coronavirus outbreak had hit the US harder than the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor in World War Two, or the 9/11 attacks two decades ago.
Trump administration is now weighing punitive actions against the Chinese Communist Party leadership over its early handling of the global emergency.
Speaking to reporters in the Oval Office of the White House on Wednesday, Mr Trump said: “We went through the worst attack we’ve ever had on our country, this is worst attack we’ve ever had.
“This is worse than Pearl Harbor, this is worse than the World Trade Center. There’s never been an attack like this.
“And it should have never happened. Could’ve been stopped at the source. Could’ve been stopped in China. It should’ve been stopped right at the source. And it wasn’t.”
Asked later by a reporter if he saw the pandemic as an actual act of war, Mr. Trump indicated the outbreak was America’s foe, rather than China.
“I view the invisible enemy [coronavirus] as a war,” he said. “I don’t like how it got here, because it could have been stopped, but no, I view the invisible enemy like a war.”
Edited by staff