During an interview on Sunday with Fox News host Maria Bartiromo, former President Donald Trump said China should be made to pay reparations for its role in the outbreak of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. Trump estimated the total cost from the pandemic would be in excess of $60 trillion.
“China has to pay, they have to do something,” Trump said. “They have to pay reparations and China doesn’t have the money to pay those reparations.”
“I believe that worldwide, I’m not just talking about the United States, but worldwide [its] $60 trillion of damage,” Trump continued. “China doesn’t have $60 trillion, but they have to do something to make up for what they’ve done. What they’ve done to the world is so horrible. It’s been horrible all over the world and it doesn’t stop.”
Trump’s interview on Sunday with Bartiromo was not the first time he has called for China to pay reparations for COVID-19. In June, Trump said the damage China should pay to the U.S. alone had reached about $10 trillion.
Trump raised his calls for China to pay reparations amid claims that the virus originated from a leak at a virology lab in the Chinese city of Wuhan, the epicenter of the virus’ emergence.
Trump’s call for China to pay $10 trillion to the U.S. in June came days after President Joe Biden ordered the U.S. intelligence community to redouble investigative efforts, first brought about under the Trump administration, to determine the origins of COVID-19. Biden’s order included instructions to look into the Wuhan lab leak theory. Biden ordered that intelligence community effort after reports broke that he had halted an earlier Trump-era investigative effort.
“Now everyone, even the so-called ‘enemy,’ are beginning to say that President Trump was right about the China Virus coming from the Wuhan Lab,” Trump wrote in an emailed statement in June. “The correspondence between Dr. Fauci and China speaks too loudly for anyone to ignore. China should pay Ten Trillion Dollars to America, and the World, for the death and destruction they have caused!”
Despite Trump’s confidence in the origins of COVID-19, the Biden-era order for the intelligence community to investigate the origins of the virus came back inconclusive in August, after a 90-day effort.
From near the start of the intelligence community review, Biden ordered, Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines said 90 days might not be enough time to find an answer.