US General Attorney Bill Barr has called China America’s biggest threat and says the danger posed by the communist country is ‘very serious’ amid escalating tensions with Beijing over the coronavirus pandemic.
In an interview yesterday, amid rising anti-China rhetoric from the administration about Beijing’s alleged ‘cover-up’ of its coronavirus infection rate, Barr was asked whether he considered Russia or China the biggest security risk to the upcoming presidential election.
‘In my opinion, it’s China’, Barr told FoxNews. ‘Not just to the election process, but, I think, across the board.’
‘There’s simply no comparison,’ Barr added. ‘China is a very serious threat to the United States – geopolitically, economically, militarily, and a threat to the integrity of our institutions, given their ability to influence things.’
In an interview yesterday Bill Barr said that China, not Russia, was the biggest threat to the United States ‘geopolitically, economically, militarily’
The attorney general’s comments come shortly after a spate of anti-Beijing rhetoric from senior administration officials due to a perceived cover-up of China’s COVID-19 infection tally, while US figures soar.
The World Health Organization also drew ire from President Donald Trump yesterday, as he escalated the war-of-words with the humanitarian group after accusing them of being ‘China-centric’ earlier this week.
Trump’s main beef with the United Nations health group is that their directors said it wasn’t necessary to ban travelers coming from China when the coronavirus started spreading beyond Wuhan, where it originated.
The president bragged that his early ban of some travelers from China kept it from being a greater threat to the US.
Trump has followed the lead of prominent conservatives in complaining that the WHO has been too friendly to China during the coronavirus crisis.
He wrote on Twitter: ‘The WHO really blew it. For some reason, funded largely by the United States, yet very China centric. We will be giving that a good look.’
President Trump attacked the World Health Organization on Tuesday, calling it too ‘China centric’ and suggesting that it was hiding information about the coronavirus from the rest of the world
Trump suggested he might cut the US’s funding that goes toward WHO, calling the United Nations agency ‘very China centric’
The World Health Organization has been criticized for not pushing China to clarify its response and question its numbers on the disease. There is skepticism about the numbers Beijing is reporting.
The president was later asked why he thought the WHO was ‘China centric’.
Trump responded: ‘I don’t know, they seem to come down on the side of China.’
‘Don’t close your borders to China, don’t do this, they don’t report what’s really going on, they didn’t see it and yet they were there. They didn’t see what was going on in Wuhan…they must have seen it, but they didn’t report it,’ he said.
On January 31, the Trump administration announced travel restrictions on people coming from China due to the outbreak.
Trump was following the lead of American conservatives including Florida Sen. Rick Scott who placed blame on WHO for ‘helping Communist China cover up a global pandemic.’
President Trump also accused World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus of playing politics with his criticism of Trump
Healthcare workers transfer the body of a deceased person for transport at Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center in Brooklyn
Other GOP lawmakers have floated a theory that WHO is under China’s spell.
Last week, Sen. Marco Rubio, a Florida Republican, said WHO’s Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus should resign because ‘he allowed Beijing to use the WHO to mislead the global community.’
As did Sen. Martha McSally, an Arizona Republican.
‘They need to come clean and another piece of this is, the WHO has to stop covering for them,’ she said of China. ‘I think Dr. Tedros needs to step down,’ McSally said on Fox Business Network.
‘We need to take some actions to address this issue. It’s just irresponsible, it’s unconscionable what they have done here while we have people dying across the globe,’ McSally added.
Tedros was called a ‘proxy’ of China by White House economic adviser Peter Navarro in an interview with Fox ‘s The Story Wednesday night
Scott, the Florida senator, said the Senate Homeland Security Committee needed to launch an investigation into WHO’s handling of the virus.
In late January, Tedros complimented China’s President Xi Jinping for the country’s handling of the virus, as the Chinese leader centralized the response after local officials in Wuhan couldn’t keep the outbreak under control.
But Xi also controlled the flow of information, with reports coming out of China that the country had been trying to silence whistleblowers.
At the same time, Democratic governors, lawmakers and pundits have condemned Trump’s response in combatting the virus, suggesting he did too little, too late.