The US is currently “at war” with China, White House official Peter Navarro said, insisting it owes compensation for the “damage” caused by Covid-19 as Washington heats up tensions with Beijing over the pandemic.

“We are at war, make no mistake about that. The Chinese unleashed a virus on the world,” the Trump adviser told Fox & Friends on Monday.

Navarro also said China will owe the US “some form of compensatory damage” following the pandemic. 

Peter Navarro: “It crossed me that Disneyland in Shanghai is opening this morning, while my own Disneyland in my own homeland in Orange County, in Anaheim, where Disneyland was born, is still shut because of the Chinese Communist Party. That makes me mad.”

The rhetoric against China from both Republicans and White House officials has become especially accusatory in recent days. The president himself has been one of a handful in his administration to suggest that the coronavirus — which is believed to have originated in the city of Wuhan — could have been man-made in a lab. He and others, however, have been unable to present any real evidence of this. 

Republican officials have meanwhile suggested a probe into investments in American universities from China. 

Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) has even put forth the idea that students from China learning at universities through student visas should be limited in what they can study and kept away from scientific fields, as it could lead to China stealing a Covid-19 vaccine. 

Cotton and Representative Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas) have also suggested allowing American citizens to sue China over the coronavirus for the “damages they caused.”

The hardline rhetoric is likely to only continue in the coming weeks, especially from White House officials, as Navarro made clear that he and others are sick of the “pity party” that was thrown over the weekend by media talking heads and government officials who made gloomy predictions about the US’ economic future. 

With more than 33 million Americans filing for unemployment since mid-March due to Covid-19-related shutdowns, the White House has been under pressure over the dwindling economy. Pundits and economists have made comparisons to the Great Depression, though Navarro dismissed the notion, insisting the current economic downturn is only temporary.

“This is not the great depression… this great depression pity party stuff I saw yesterday, this ain’t that,” Navarro said, adding that the president built a “beautiful” economy once and will do it again following the pandemic. 

On Fox & Friends, White House adviser Peter Navarro pushes back against his colleague admitting that unemployment could reach 25%: “This is not the great depression … this great depression pity party stuff I saw yesterday, this ain’t that.”

Despite Navarro’s words, even White House adviser Kevin Hassett predicted in multiple Sunday interviews that the unemployment rate in the US will likely top 20 percent — it currently stands at around 15 percent — over the summer and he also compared the current situation to the Great Depression.

“To get unemployment rates like the ones that we’re about to see… which I think will climb up towards 20 percent by next month, you have to really go back to the Great Depression to see that.”

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