Washington: With more than 700,000 Corona Cases and increasing death toll the US is struggling to flatten the curve. Amid the crisis, the US President Donald Trump has warned China of consequences if it was “knowingly responsible” for the spread of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Trump, who has expressed his disappointment over handling of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) by China, alleged non-transparency and initial non-cooperation with the US on this issue.

The president underlined that there was a big difference between a mistake that got out of control or something done deliberately.

“In either event, they should have let us go in. You know, we asked to go in very early and they didn’t want us in. I think they knew it was something bad and I think they were embarrassed,” Trump said.

“If they were knowingly responsible, yeah, then there should be consequences,” he told reporters at a White House news conference on Saturday. “You’re talking about, you know, potentially lives like nobody’s seen since 1917.”, he added.

On Sunday China reported just 16 new confirmed coronavirus cases, its lowest number since 17 March and down from 27 a day earlier. No new deaths were reported. During the White House briefing, Trump interrupted his coronavirus response coordinator, Deborah Birx, who was showing a comparison of deaths per 100,000 people in a range of countries, to say he didn’t believe China and Iran’s stated fatalities.

“Does anybody really believe these figures?” he asked.

Birx, who has steered clear of political aspects of Trump’s contentious briefings, also questioned China’s data, including that the country’s death rate per 100,000 people was far below major European countries and the US. She called China’s numbers “unrealistic” and said it had a “moral obligation” to provide credible information.

Birx praised European countries, who she said alerted the US to the seriousness of the virus, including its significant impact on people with underlying health symptoms.

Trump said his relationship with China was very good till the time the deadly COVID-19 swept the world. 

The president said the coronavirus crisis had hurt everybody. Almost all the countries have suffered and the losses were huge. “We had the greatest economy in the world by far. China isn’t even close. Go back two months. And we’re going to keep it that way,” he said.

Trump asserted that Iran was now a much different country than it was before. “When I first came in, Iran was going to take over the entire Middle East,” he said. “Right now, they just want to survive.”

Meanwhile Australia demands for an independent  international inquiry into the origins of the corona virus in Wuhan and signalled its relationship with China will change in the wake of the deadly pandemic.

The move comes amid mounting international pressure on Beijing over its perceived lack of transparency about the outbreak of the virus in Wuhan, which has killed more than 158,000 people worldwide.

Marise Payne, Australia’s foreign minister, on Sunday Canberra shared some of US President Donald Trump’s concerns about the World Health Organization’s performance in handling the crisis, which meant it was not the right body to carry out such an inquiry.

“We need to know the sorts of details that an independent review would identify for us about the genesis of the virus, about the approaches to dealing with it, and addressing the openness with which information was shared, about interaction with the WHO and interaction with other international leaders,” she said.