President Donald Trump on Tuesday berated China in his speech to the United Nations General Assembly, specifically in reaction to the coronavirus pandemic.
“We must hold accountable the nation which unleashed this plague unto the world,” Trump said. “China.”
The president’s speech was delivered via video for the U.N. General assembly, reduced to a series of virtual speeches from world leaders because of the pandemic.
Trump pointedly referred to the coronavirus as the “China virus,” and listed many of China’s failures to contain the disease.
He also noted China’s hypocrisy after they condemned his travel ban to people from China while its government itself banned travel domestically and locked people in their homes.
“In the earliest days of the virus, China locked down travel domestically while allowing flights to leave China and infect the world,” Trump said.
Trump noted that the Chinese government and the World Health Organization (WHO) worked together to hide the true nature of the virus, falsely claiming that there was no evidence of human to human transmission and that people without symptoms would not spread the virus.
“The United Nations must hold China accountable for their actions,” he said.
The president also criticized the environmental abuses from China, dumping plastic into the oceans, destroying coral reefs, overfishing other countries waters, while polluting the world with toxic mercury emissions into the atmosphere.
“Those who attack America’s exceptional environmental record while ignoring China’s rampant pollution are not interested in the environment, they only want to punish America and I won’t stand for it,” Trump said.
The president again promoted his concept of leadership, to put American first, by putting American citizens first.
“For decades the same tired voices proposed the same failed solutions pursuing global ambitions at the expense of their own people,” he said. “But only when you take care of your own citizens will you find a true basis for cooperation.”