Former President Donald Trump is calling on China to pay the United States 10 trillion dollars for the damages wrought on the nation by the coronavirus pandemic. Trump stated that even the so-called “enemy” is now beginning to say that Trump was right about the SARS-CoV-2 virus originating from a lab in Wuhan.
“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!” read the statement.
On May 26, President Joe Biden said that U.S. Intelligence was split between the theory that the virus emerged from human contact with an infected animal, as claimed by the Chinese government, or due to a lab leak.
“I have now asked the Intelligence Community to redouble their efforts to collect and analyze information that could bring us closer to a definitive conclusion, and to report back to me in 90 days,” Biden said.
Trump’s 10 trillion dollar request is similar to the amount that the U.S. has spent fighting Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). According to the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget’s COVID money tracker, the U.S. government has allowed a budget of 13 trillion dollars for tackling the pandemic, of which 8.1 trillion dollars has been disbursed or committed.
Of the 13 trillion dollars, 6.2 trillion was allowed for Federal Reserve actions, 5.9 trillion for legislative actions, and 0.9 trillion for administrative actions. The amounts that have been committed or disbursed are 3.2 trillion, 4.2 trillion, and 0.7 trillion dollars, respectively. As of March 2021, U.S. debt to China was 1.1 trillion dollars, according to data from the Treasury Department.
A November 2020 study published by Harvard economists predicted that Washington would spend at least 16 trillion dollars to combat the pandemic, assuming it ended by Fall 2021. “It’s almost hard to understand what a number of that size means… This is like a hurricane hitting the whole country,” David Cutler, a professor of economics, said in the study.
During the May 25 hearing of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Health and Human Services, Fauci defended the $600,000 in grants that the National Institutes of Health (NIH) gave to the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV). Fauci is the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), which is one of the NIH’s 27 institutes and centers.
The grant’s purpose “was to study the animal-human interface, to do surveillance, and to determine if these bat viruses were even capable of transmitting infection to humans,” he said. Fauci insisted that the funds were not used in the gain-of-function research, which involves modifying a virus to become “more transmissible and/or pathogenic.”
The Fauci-China correspondence that Trump referred to in his statement was about a trove of emails obtained by several media outlets such as The Washington Post and BuzzFeed through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.
The Epoch Times reported about an email to Fauci from Peter Daszak, the Director of EcoHealth, a group that received hundreds of thousands of dollars from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). EcoHealth used the money to fund research at China’s WIV, where the coronavirus is suspected to have originated.
“I just wanted to say a personal thank you on behalf of our staff and collaborators, for publicly standing up and stating that the scientific evidence supports a natural origin for COVID-19 from a bat-to-human spillover, not a lab release from the Wuhan Institute of Virology,” Daszak said in the email after Fauci disputed the lab origin theory in a media appearance.
Trump has called for an investigation into Fauci’s activities following the release of the emails. “There are a lot of questions that must be answered by Dr. Fauci,” Trump said to reporters. In an interview with Fox News, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that Fauci’s emails are “entirely consistent as well with what the propaganda machine inside of China was pressing and what the World Health Organization was pressing.”
At a recent press briefing, White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters that Fauci has been an “undeniable asset” in America’s pandemic response. She refused to comment on specific details about Fauci’s emails and their implications.
With reporting by Prakash Gogoi.