Taking to the podium for the first time in the Brady Briefing Room Friday afternoon, newly minted White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany blasted China for their continued mishandling of the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic.
"I will echo the president's displeasure with China. It's no secret that China mishandled this situation. Just a few examples for you, they did not share the genetic sequence until a professor in Shanghai did so on his own. The very next day, China shut down its lab for 'rectification.' They slow-walked information on human-to-human transmission alongside the World Health Organization and didn't let U.S. investigators in at a very important time," McEnany said.
"When it comes to retaliatory measures, I won't get ahead of the president on that," she continued.
McEnany also noted multiple intelligence reports indicate the virus originated from a lab accident in Wuhan.
During an event for seniors at the White House Thursday evening, President Trump was asked whether he would press China to eliminate U.S. debt owed to the country as reparation for their mishandling of the outbreak.
"I can do it differently. I can do the same thing, but even for more money just by putting on tariffs," Trump said, cautioning against hurting the dollar. "You start playing those games and that's tough. You know, we have the dollar to protect. We want to protect the sanctity of the dollar, the importance of the dollar."
President Trump will spend the weekend at Camp David where he will speak with a number of world leaders.
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