When It Mattered Most, Trump Put China First
August 25, 2020
Mike Pompeo won’t say this: when it mattered most, Trump let China off the hook for its coronavirus cover-up. Rather than hold Beijing’s feet to the fire, he praised President Xi more than a dozen times for his handling of the pandemic that has killed more than 178,000 Americans.
Throughout January and February, Trump defended China’s handling of the coronavirus and its transparency, even as concerns were raised by his own administration.
January 24, 2020:
TRUMP: “China has been working very hard to contain the Coronavirus. The United States greatly appreciates their efforts and transparency. It will all work out well. In particular, on behalf of the American People, I want to thank President Xi!”
February 7, 2020:
TRUMP: “Now we have a deal with China. I just spoke to President Xi last night, and, you know, we’re working on the — the problem, the virus. It’s a — it’s a very tough situation. But I think he’s going to handle it. I think he’s handled it really well.”
February 7, 2020:
TRUMP: “Just had a long and very good conversation by phone with President Xi of China. He is strong, sharp and powerfully focused on leading the counterattack on the Coronavirus. He feels they are doing very well, even building hospitals in a matter of only days. Nothing is easy, but he will be successful, especially as the weather starts to warm & the virus hopefully becomes weaker, and then gone. Great discipline is taking place in China, as President Xi strongly leads what will be a very successful operation. We are working closely with China to help!”
February 10, 2020:
TRUMP: “Well, I think China is very, you know, professionally run, in the sense that they have everything under control.”
February 19, 2020:
TRUMP: “Well, I’m confident that they’re trying very hard. I know president Xi, I get along with him very well. We just made a great trade deal, which is going to be a lot of business for Arizona and every other place. But they are trying very, very hard, and I think the numbers are going to get progressively better as we go along.”
February 23, 2020:
TRUMP: “No, I think President Xi is working very, very hard. I spoke to him. He’s working very hard. I think he’s doing a very good job.”