Public opinion is rapidly turning against China as intelligence agencies have exposed the full extent of the communist state’s coverup of the novel coronavirus outbreak. US intelligence has determined that China has underreported total cases and deaths, and dragged its feet in telling the rest of the world about the seriousness of the virus. A Trump administration official told The Spectator earlier this month that the US response was delayed by at least a month due to China’s lack of transparency.
Americans are angry at China’s deception: a majority of them polled at the end of March and in early April said they agree with President Trump referring to COVID-19 as the ‘Chinese virus’. And a new poll should excite China hawks who actually wish to punish China for their role in the spread of the virus and various other misdeeds.
According to a poll of 1,500 eligible voters conducted by Redfield & Wilton Strategies, 50 percent of Americans would support a class action lawsuit in their state that would seek compensation from China for damages caused by coronavirus. Just 26 percent said they would not support such a lawsuit. Perhaps more stunningly, 70 percent of voters polled said China should be forced to allow independent investigators into the country to investigate the origins of the virus. The virus was initially believed to have been spread from a local wet market in the Wuhan province, but recent reports suggest that it unintentionally leaked from a Wuhan laboratory.
However, Trump may be more of an obstacle to cracking down on China post-COVID than you might suspect. Although he has allowed secretary of state Mike Pompeo the longest possible leash to investigate the CCP, Trump has softened his tone on China and neglected to endorse any reactionary measures as of late. His ‘Buy American’ executive order to reshore the medical supply chain remains unsigned. A Friday report from Politico suggests that Trump may be playing it safe due to financial entanglements with China, while Cockburn speculated several weeks ago that it could be as simple as being unwilling to jeopardize a second phase of a trade deal. But if he did go after China for causing the crisis, it seems a majority of Americans would cheer him on.