“I wish they could have told us earlier about what was going on inside,” Trump said during a briefing on the federal government’s coronavirus response. “We didn’t know about it until it started coming out publicly.”
Trump added that China “was very secretive and that’s unfortunate.”
On January 24, Trump praised China and President Xi Jinping for the country’s “efforts and transparency” in dealing with the coronavirus. That praise came nearly a month after the country informed the World Health Organization about the virus.
When asked by CNN’s Jeremy Diamond on Saturday about his previous praise, Trump said he thought the country could have warned other nations sooner than it did.
“Because China has worked very hard,” he said. “China was transparent at that time but when we saw what happened, they could have been transparent much earlier than they were.”
He went on to criticize what he said was China’s waiting to tell the US.
“They knew they had a problem earlier. I wish they could have said that,” he said.