US President Donald Trump has hit out at China for not stopping the COVID-19 pandemic that has claimed hundreds of thousands of lives globally, as he yet again used the term "China virus" and urged his supporters not to call it coronavirus, saying the name sounds like a "beautiful place" in Italy.
Addressing a packed election rally in the battle ground State of Pennsylvania, Trump told his supporters on Tuesday that if re-elected, over the next four years, his administration will make America a manufacturing superpower of the world and will end US's reliance on China once and for all.
Describing the November 3 election as a "matter of economic survival", Trump said that the country was doing great on economic front before the plague was unleashed on the United States, and blamed China for it.
"You had the greatest year you have ever had last year, and you were really on your way - we were very, very sadly disturbed by what happened with China. They let the plague out. They shouldn't have done it," he said.
"We built the greatest economy in the history of the world. And right now we're doing it again," he asserted, amidst an applause from his supporters.
"It's the China virus. It's not the coronavirus. Corona sounds like a place in Italy, a beautiful place. It's corona? No. It's the China virus. They don't want to say it. You know, the radical left, they don't want to say it," Trump said.
The US President has called the novel coronavirus as China's virus before as well.
In his speech on the eve of the Republican National Convention in August, Trump said: "I am pleased to make a truly historic announcement in our battle against the China virus that will save countless lives".
In March, he had said that China is responsible for the spread of the novel coronavirus and called the COVID-19 as the "Chinese virus".
The virus that first emerged in China's Wuhan city in the Hubei province in December 2019 has claimed 968,726 lives and infected 31,483,011 people globally. The US is the worst affected country, according to the Johns Hopkins University coronavirus tracker.
"Do you ever notice they're always going after Russia? Look, nobody's been tougher on Russia than me. But you have Russia, Russia, Russia. I say what about China? They never want to mention it. You know, they got little deals going on," Trump alleged.
"But coronavirus, doesn't it sound like Italy, a beautiful villa, you have a beautiful corona. No, it's the China virus. They should have stopped it," he said.
To fight the virus, Trump said that his administration had launched the largest national mobilisation since World War II.
"We did an incredible, we did an A-plus job, except we did a "D" job in terms of public relations, explaining it, because we were too busy doing it. But the fact is they wouldn't have written it anyway," Trump said.
He claimed that his Democratic rival Joe Biden championed every globalist betrayal of Pennsylvania for a half a century.
"He was a cheerleader for the worst trade deal ever made by any country, NAFTA and China's entry into the World Trade Organization, which built the China like a rocket ship," he said.
"They were flatlined for many, many decades, and then right through the roof. That was a Biden approval to. These disasters ripped out one-third of your state''s manufacturing jobs. You know what happened. Biden shouldn''t be asking for your vote. He should be begging for your forgiveness. He did a terrible job," Trump said.
He said now the Democrat Party was pledging to rejoin the disastrous Paris Climate Accord
"You want to spend a lot of money for nothing, eviscerating your state''s economy. You will spend USD 1 trillion. And what it is really, it takes away your power. It takes away your energy. You''ll be closing your plants and factories all over the place," he told his supporters.
"I withdrew from the catastrophe because I was elected to fight for Pittsburgh, not for Paris. This election is a choice between Pennsylvania and China. If Biden wins, China wins. When we win, Pennsylvania wins and America wins," Trump said