President Donald Trump wants to bill China for the damage that coronavirus has done to the U.S. economy, and he has a specific number in mind. On Monday, Trump spoke during a press conference in the Rose Gardens at the White House, saying that he believes China should pay the United States "$160 billion," per The Sun. The president also stated that his administration is making "serious investigations" into any and all action that can be taken against Beijing.
"There are a lot of ways you can hold them accountable. We're doing very serious investigations, as you probably know. And we are not happy with China. We are not happy with that whole situation," Trump said. "Because we believe it could have been stopped at the source. It could have been stopped quickly, and it wouldn't have spread all over the world." When it comes to the $160 billion price tag that was initially reported by a German news outlet, Trump stated, "We could do something much easier than that."
"We have ways of doing things a lot easier than that," he continued. "Germany's looking at things, and we're looking at things, and we're talking about a lot more money than Germany's talking about. We haven't determined the final amount yet. It's very substantial. If you look at the world, I mean, this is worldwide damage. This is damage to the U.S., but this is damage to the world."
Trump went on to speak about America's financial relationship with China prior to the pandemic, saying, "If you look prior to this virus, the deficit was coming way down under my administration because I put massive tariffs on China. We took in tens of billions of dollars, gave some of it to the farmers who were unfairly targeted by China. Nobody's ever done that before. We never took in 10 cents from China. Now all of a sudden, I think you know very well, we've taken in tens of billions of dollars."
The president continued: "I helped the farmers by giving them, two years ago, $12 billion – all coming from China. And we had plenty left over, too. And then the following year, $16 billion, and this year we're also going to help our farmers." Coronavirus has been truly detrimental in the United States with death toll surpassing 56,000, according to data gathered by Johns Hopkins University. Additionally, there are currently more than 994,000 confirmed cases in the U.S.