Accusing China of not being transparent about the COVID-19, US President Donald Trump has said that Beijing could have stopped the deadly virus from spreading across the world but they "chose" not to.
Trump has in the past expressed disappointment over China's handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. In May, he claimed that it was the "incompetence" of Beijing that led to the mass killing across the globe.
More than 600,000 people globally, including 143,000 Americans have died due to coronavirus that emerged from China's Wuhan city.
Over 14 million people across the world, including over 4 million in the US, have tested positive with this deadly virus that has brought the global economy to standstill.
China has denied US' claim of "covering up" the extent of its coronavirus outbreak and has accused the US of attempting to divert public attention by insinuating that the virus originated from a virology laboratory in Wuhan.
"It came from China. It should have never been allowed to get out. They could have stopped it. They could have stopped it easily. They chose not to," Trump told reporters in the Oval Office of the White House on Monday.
"We'll have further reports on that. But it came from China. They could have stopped it, but they didn't. They stopped it from going into China, but they didn't stop it from going to the rest of the world. It didn't stop it from going to Europe, to us," he said.
"They should have stopped it. They could have stopped it. They weren't transparent at all; they were the opposite. It's not good," Trump said.
Trump spoke with French President Emmanuel Macron and Egypt President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi on Monday over the pandemic.
"And all of us, and all of us together -- I've had many conversations with leaders all over the world over the weekend, and over the last couple of weeks in particular. And this is a pandemic that is flaring up all over the place. Countries thought they were in good shape and then, all of a sudden, they have a big flare-up," he said.
Coronavirus, he said, is a worldwide problem and the US is helping other countries with ventilators.
"We're helping a lot of countries. They don't have ventilators, and we're sending thousands of ventilators to different countries. But I do want people to understand this is a worldwide problem caused by China, but it's a worldwide problem," Trump said.
"Countries are going through hell. We're going to give you a lot of briefings in the next week and over the next few weeks as to -- I think it's very important to do it, the vaccines and the therapeutics. I think I'm going to bring some of the great companies that are working, and very successfully in the past have worked on these things, and they're going to tell you very specifically what they're doing and how they're doing. But we think we're doing very well in that regard," said the president.
The State Department on Monday announced that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo during his July 20-22 visit to the UK will meet with Prime Minister Boris Johnson? and Foreign Secretary Dominic? Raab? to discuss global priorities, including coordination on COVID-19 recovery and? issues related to the People's Republic of China (PRC).?
He will also discuss the ongoing negotiations for the US-UK Free Trade Agreement, an official statement said.
In another development, Congressman Michael Burges said that China and the Chinese Communist Party continues to threaten American national security with cyber-attacks.
"The US should get more specific with sanctions and use our economic power to punish hackers," he demanded.