President Donald Trump said on Monday during the White House Coronavirus Task Force news conference that the United States is going make China pay a “very substantial” price for the damage they have caused by lying and trying to cover-up the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan.
When asked about how he planned to hold China accountable for their actions, Trump said, “There are a lot of ways you can hold them accountable. We’re doing very serious investigations, as you probably know. We are not happy with China, we are not happy with that whole situation. Because we believe it could have been stopped at the source, it could have been stopped quickly and it wouldn’t have spread all over the world. We think that should have happened. So, we’ll let you know at the appropriate time. But we are doing serious investigations.”
Later in the press conference, a reporter asked: “Germany sent a bill to China for 130 billion euros for the damages caused by the coronavirus. Would your administration look at doing the same?”
The reporter’s question was false, Germany did not send a bill to China, a German newspaper wrote a £130bn invoice that they said Beijing owed Germany.
Regardless, Trump responded to the question by saying, “Well, we can do something much easier than that. We have ways of doing things a lot easier than that. But Germany’s looking at things and we’re looking at things. And we’re talking about a lot more money than Germany’s talking about. Yeah.”
Forbes highlighted what some of the big banks were saying about the economic devastation that has occurred as a result of the pandemic:
Goldman Sachs economists on Friday forecast an unprecedented 24% hit to U.S. second-quarter GDP, following a 6% decline in the first quarter, due to coronavirus; the bank also expects unemployment to surge to 9% and full-year GDP for 2020 to fall 3.8% on an annual average basis.
Bank of America warned late on Thursday that a recession due to the coronavirus pandemic is already here: “Jobs will be lost, wealth will be destroyed and confidence depressed,” the bank’s U.S. economist, Michelle Meyer, wrote in a note, as the Bank of America also forecast the economy to “collapse” in the second quarter, shrinking by 12%, with GDP for 2020 taking a 0.8% hit.
Morgan Stanley warned investors of the same thing: “Global recession in 2020 is now our base case,” the firm’s chief economist, Chetan Ahya, wrote in a recent note, predicting global economic growth to slow to 0.9% this year—the lowest level seen since the 2008 crisis.
Deutsche Bank predicts that the U.S. economy will contract by 12.9% in the second quarter, with the coronavirus-driven declines set to “substantially exceed anything previously recorded going back to at least World War II,” according to a note Wednesday.
UBS similarly sees a “massive contraction” of almost 10% in second-quarter GDP, while also predicting a deep recession in the first half of 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
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