DEB RIECHMANN and ZEKE MILLER
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration is making ever louder pronouncements casting blame on China for the COVID-19 pandemic, aiming to sidestep domestic criticism of the president's own response, tarnish China's global reputation and give the U.S. leverage on trade and other aspects of U.S.-China competition.
President Donald Trump has vowed to penalize China for what U.S. officials have increasingly described as a pattern of deceit that denied the world precious time to prepare for the pandemic. The opening salvo isn't in the form of tariffs or sanctions, but in a one-sided accounting of China's behavior that could yank the Chinese lower on the global reputation meter.
The State Department, the Department of Homeland Security and