Yesterday President Trump erupted with a series of demands and threat against China, focusing on various claims about its role in the current pandemic. I have here noted some issues with China's conduct, but Trump makes it completely impossible that there will be any of the much-needed cooperation between the US and China to overcome this virus. He has gone absolutely bonkers.
He has now threatened to remove China's sovereign immunity so people can sue it, with a former lawyer of his organization, George Sorial now of Berman and Associates, cooking up a class action suit against China; a threat to stop paying interest on US bonds held by China, which he probably will not do because it occurs to him that this default on the US national debt might "damage the sacred standing of the dollar" duh; and finally to impose yet more tariffs on China, a threat that promptly sent the stock market plunging after several days of rising, although we know he really likes putting tariffs on China. Probably the first of these would be the least harmful and the most likely he will do, very noisy but not amounting to too muc in the end as China will just ignore it.
I note that in this press conference he claimed that he has seen intelligence showing a "high probability" that the virus came out of a Wuhan lab. So far no other sources have said that, although by all reports that possibility has not been ruled out. But by this almost certain lie Trump has almost certainly killed any remaining chance that China might cooperate with the US on really determining the ultimate origin of the virus, something that would be scientifically and medically useful. It may be that this origin will be discovered, but it will not be through such cooperation. It is completely reasonable that China will resist something they perceive as possibly leading to them being denounced and sued.
My own theory as to what triggered yesteeday's outburst is that he reportedly blew up at his campaign chied, Brad Parscal, onWedneday when Parscale reportedly showed him serious polls showing him losing to Biden in most of the swing states. He apparently was yelling and using the "f word." of course public polling has been showing this for a long time, but Trump has apparenly up until Wednesday simply ignored or written off such polls. In any case, this going after China big time and hard looks to me to be his response to these bad polls, a desperate attempt to regain an electoral edge by an aggressive foreign policy, one that is potentially very dangerous and damaging in this current situation, which apparently some of his economic advisers understand. But he is reportedly now leaning to his national security hardliners like SecState Mike Pompeo. This is not at all good news.
PS: Happy May Day everybody!