White House trade advisor Peter Navarro told Maria Bartiromo on her Fox Sunday morning show that during the early days of the coronavirus outbreak, China attempted to “corner the world market” in personal protective equipment such as face masks and gloves.
“We know that China knew about the virus as early as mid-December. We know that for a period of about five to six weeks they hid the dangers from the rest of the world even as Chinese citizens were flying around the world seeding the world with the virus,” Navarro said on Fox News.
“It looks like during that interval, China was basically attempting to corner the market in personal protective equipment including masks. So they were buying large quantities of masks, gloves, goggles, respirators from the rest of the world at a time when the world was still sleeping with respect to the dangers of the virus.”
Navarro pointed out that Chinese customs data shows “one statistic that I think every American should sit up and really stare at,” namely that China bought 2.2 billion face masks between January 24 and the end of February.
“Americans are getting infected because they don’t have the masks. Italians are dying because they don’t have masks. Health care professionals are going down,” the White House trade adviser said. “If those statistics are telling a story about China basically going out and trying to corner the world market in PPE when they knew the dangers and didn’t tell the rest of the world, I think that’s a significant discussion we need to have, at least after this is all over because that’s a serious matter.”
Peter Navarro: During the 6 week period that China hid the Wuhan Virus from the World, they went from net exporter of protective equipment to net importer.
I wonder how many beltway swamp rats & US companies were complicit in this hoarding?🤷♀️@MariaBartiromo
— Lisa Grace⭐️⭐️⭐️ (@mzytequila) April 19, 2020
NY Post, April 8, 2020:
A group of frontline healthcare workers are suing the Chinese government, claiming that it mishandled the coronavirus outbreak and is now hoarding badly-needed personal protective equipment and selling it for profit.
In a lawsuit filed in a federal court in West Palm Beach, Fla. against the Chinese Communist Party, the healthcare workers charge that it is blocking exports of gloves, goggles and other PPE and selling it at a substantial mark-up while people across the globe are getting sick and dying from COVID-19.
They also allege that the Chinese government should be held responsible for the extent of the coronavirus outbreak because it initially tried to downplay its dangers, censored doctors who tried to sound the alarm and stalled in locking down Wuhan, the sprawling metropolis that has been identified as ground zero for the bug.
“It’s almost straight out of a movie — ‘let’s cause the world to get a virus and let’s profit off of it,’” said Jeremy Alters, a spokesman for the Boca Raton-based Berman Law Group.
The plaintiffs include a New York doctor, a New Jersey surgical technologist, a West Virginia nurse and a doctor and a nurse working in Florida. They claim that their suit could cover nearly 4 million US healthcare workers.
Executives from manufacturers 3M and Honeywell have told US officials that China has blocked their exports of respirators, gloves and other PPE.
A lawyer for President Trump’s re-election campaign recently said the White House has been in contact with the manufacturers and that it is weighing legal action against Beijing for allegedly hoarding PPE.
Last month, the Berman Law Group filed a lawsuit against the People’s Republic of China on behalf of a group of Florida businesses alleging that it should be held liable for trillions of dollars in damages to individuals and businesses.
That claim is not contained in the lawsuit filed on behalf of the healthcare workers, which points instead to the widely-accepted theory that the disease was transmitted from animals to humans.
Alters said the alternative theory was not contained in the healthcare workers’ suit because it is meant to give more attention to China’s alleged stockpiling of PPE.
The Henry Jackson Society, a London-based think tank, said in a report released on Sunday that the US and the six other G7 member-states could pursue the Chinese government in court for more than $3 trillion damages for the way it has handled the COVID-19 outbreak, Radio Free Asia reports.
The Chinese embassy in Washington did not respond to a request for comment.
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