Hindustan Times ST (Jaipur)
Trump tells China to pay $10tn for Covid-19
WASHINGTON/MELBOURNE: Former US president Trump insisted on Thursday that he was right when he first said that the coronavirus came from a laboratory in Wuhan. “Now everyone, even the so-called enemy, are beginning to say that president Trump was right about the China virus coming from a Wuhan lab,” the former US president said in a statement.
Trump also called for imposing a hefty fine on the Chinese government over the deaths and damage that Covid-19 has caused around the world. “The correspondence between Dr Anthony Fauci and China speaks too loudly for anyone to ignore. China should pay $10 trillion to America, and the world, for the death and destruction they have caused,” Trump claimed.
The controversial claim that the virus indeed came from a top lab in Wuhan was dismissed by experts last year, who said it was “extremely unlikely”. No evidence to support it has emerged.
Fauci wants clarity on lab staff, bat cave visit
Anthony Fauci, head of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said in an interview with The Financial Times that he would like to see the medical records of three researchers at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, who reportedly became sick in November 2019 and also those of six miners who became ill after entering a bat cave in 2012.
The medical records, according to the top US doctor on infectious diseases, could shed some light on how the coronavirus triggered the Covid-19 pandemic, especially whether it “started spreading naturally or went through the lab”.
Earlier on, Fauci had told MSNBC that the coronavirus is more likely to have come from an animal, but the reports of sick researchers give more credence to the possibility of a “lab leak”.
Australia finds Delta variant in Melbourne
Australia’s Victoria state authorities said on Friday they have detected the highly infectious Delta variant of the virus for the first time in the latest outbreak in Melbourne, stoking concerns of a spike in cases.
“It is a variant of significant concern,” Victoria state’s chief health officer Brett Sutton told reporters. Melbourne is into a second week of hard lockdown after it was extended for another week until June 10, but some curbs elsewhere were eased in the state from Thursday night.