White House trade adviser Peter Navarro on April 27 accused China of sending low-quality and even counterfeit CCP virus antibody testing kits to the United States and of “profiteering” from the pandemic.
Navarro, an outspoken critic of Beijing who President Donald Trump has appointed to work on supply-line issues relating to the health crisis, said more testing both for the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus and antibodies was vital to getting Americans currently in lockdown back to work.
“That’s where, perhaps, we can find people who are immune, that can be in the workplace in a more safe environment. But we can’t have China, for example, bringing in those fake tests and counterfeit tests, because that’s going to be very disruptive,” Navarro told Fox and Friends.
“There’s a lot of these antibody tests coming in from China now that are low quality, false readings and things like that.”
The United States is heavily reliant on China for basic equipment and drugs, and the two strategic and trade rivals have traded accusations during the outbreak.
Navarro accused China, where the CCP virus is believed to have originated in the city of Wuhan, of spreading the CCP virus to the rest of the world after “they hid it for six weeks.”
“They could have contained it in Wuhan,” he said. “They didn’t. They seeded the world with this, with hundreds of thousands of Chinese getting on aircraft to Milan, to New York and other places.”
China has rejected U.S. accusations, including from U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
The United States has more than 970,000 cases and 55,000 deaths from COVID-19, the disease caused by the CCP virus.
On Saturday, China’s commerce ministry said it was dropping a requirement that a number of key CCP virus care products get domestic regulatory approval before export, as long as they are approved in the importing countries.
It had been stipulating extra approvals at home since the end of March after several European countries complained that Chinese-made test kits were inaccurate.
On Monday, Navarro charged that during the time it delayed reporting, China “vacuumed up the world for personal protective equipment” needed by healthcare workers. “And today China’s profiteering basically from this situation,” he added.
A week ago, Navarro charged that China may be withholding data about early CCP virus infections because it wants to win the commercial race to create a vaccine. There are currently no approved treatments or vaccines for COVID-19.
By David Brunnstrom
NTD staff contributed to this report