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Profiteering from a pandemic: White House official accuses China of hoarding PPEs and selling them at exorbitant prices

China was earlier accused of selling back the PPEs to Italy which the European country had originally donated as a humanitarian gesture.

On Monday, a top White House official, Peter Navarro, told Fox Business News that the United States has evidence to prove that China is now selling Personal Protective Equipments (PPEs), required by health workers, at exorbitant prices after the Communist-run country had hoarded them in the months of January and February.

This had resulted in an acute shortage of PPEs in countries such as India, Brazil, and Europe. “They bought 18 times more amount of masks. They increased their expenditures of both goggles and gloves”, he alleged.

Calling for a fair investigation into the matter, Navarro said that the behaviour of China is not in accordance with the international order. He said that the lack of sufficient supplies of PPEs has compelled the United States to onshore its production.

“First of all, the virus was spawned in China. Second of all, they hid the virus behind the shield of the WHO. The third thing they did was basically hoard PPEs and now they’re profiteering from it”, Navarro said to Fox News.

China sells donated PPEs to Italy

After selling defective masks and testing kits to the world to combat their home-grown virus, China was accused of selling back the PPEs to Italy which the European country had originally donated as a humanitarian gesture. As reported in Spectator magazine, China had earlier claimed that it will send PPEs to Italy, which has lately emerged as the hot spot for the Chinese coronavirus outbreak, to help it contain it.

However, now the reports reveal that China had sold, and not donated, those PPEs to Italy. Not only that, China actually forced Italy to buy back the same PPEs that Italy had donated to the Communist country.

US threatens retaliation

During a press conference at the White House on Saturday, US President Donald Trump threatened China with “consequences” if it is found that they were “knowingly responsible” for the outbreak of the Wuhan Coronavirus. He added, “It could have been stopped in China before it started and it wasn’t. And now the whole world is suffering because of it. If it was a mistake, a mistake is a mistake. But if they were knowingly responsible, yeah, then there should be consequences.”

Trump emphasised on how the Chinese Government refused to co-operate with the US in dealing with the pandemic. He said that China was perhaps embarrassed about the fact that the virus originated in the country. He also raised questions about the low Chinese figures on Coronavirus-related deaths in the country. Trump reiterated, “The number’s impossible,” he said. “It’s an impossible number to hit.

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OpIndia Staff
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