Trump made the comment on July 17, 2020, when he talked with Morrison over the phone in a secure room in Canberra, the capital of Australia, according to Plagued, a book written by journalists Simon Benson and Geoff Chambers that explains Australia’s political history during COVID-19.
“Look what they (China) have done to the world,” Trump said, as quoted in the book, according to Daily Mail. “They have f***ed the world.”
Trump’s statement on China came as no surprise for any of Morrison’s staff listening to the call, as “they had come to expect the unexpected when it came to Trump,” according to the book.
The first cases of COVID-19 were reported in Wuhan, China, in late 2019, and there have been more than 6.4 million deaths worldwide attributed to the disease since then, according to Johns Hopkins University.
There have been investigations into the origins of the novel coronavirus, including examinations on whether it originated in a Wuhan lab leak or came about with a natural emergence.
In June, the Scientific Advisory Group for the Origins of Novel Pathogens, the 27-member scientific advisory group assembled by the World Health Organization, stated in a report that members are missing “key pieces of data that are not yet available for a complete understanding of how the COVID-19 pandemic began.”
The report did not rule out a theory that COVID-19 originated because of a lab leak in China, a departure from a report in March 2021 in which a WHO team sent to China said a lab leak was possible but “extremely unlikely.” China has denied the validity of the lab leak theory.