- The Washington Times - Friday, May 15, 2020

White House trade adviser Peter Navarro said Friday that the Chinese Communist Party is responsible for U.S. coronavirus deaths, calling the devastating pandemic a “biological Chernobyl that they’ve unleashed on the world.”

Mr. Navarro made his comments in response to reports in Chinese media about possible “countermeasures” in response to the Trump administration’s plan to block shipments of semiconductors to the Chinese telecom firm Huawei.

He described the reports as a distraction. “Here’s the thing, Martha,” said Mr. Navarro on Fox’s “The Story With Martha MacCallum.” “They’re talking about stuff here, like it’s about this big compared to the pandemic that the Chinese Communist Party has foisted on the world.”

He continued: “They’ve already cost us $10 trillion in monetary and fiscal stimulus, they’ve killed over 80,000 Americans and 100,000 people worldwide.”

The CCP-controlled Global Times, which Mr. Navarro dismissed as one of China’s “propaganda rags,” reported Friday that China is planning to take “a series of countermeasures,” including “punitive countermeasures against U.S. individuals.”

“When I hear about an angry China and these kinds of retaliations, I think it’s important to put it in this broader context of the biological Chernobyl that they’ve unleashed on the world,” Mr. Navarro said. “I think that’s what we should focus on.”

Mr. Navarro also defended the administration’s decision to target Huawei’s acquisition of semiconductors, saying that “there isn’t a more dangerous company on the planet to the American people and our economic future than Huawei.”

“President Donald J. Trump has drawn a firm line in the sand with Huawei and our policy has been consistent on that,” he said.

The novel coronavirus, which originated in Wuhan, China, has resulted in 87,493 U.S. deaths and 307,108 deaths worldwide, according to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center.

• Valerie Richardson can be reached at vrichardson@washingtontimes.com.

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