US President Donald Trump has described the coronavirus pandemic as the "worst attack" ever on the United States, pointing the finger at China.
Mr Trump said the pandemic had hit the US harder than the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor in World War Two, or the 9/11 attacks two decades ago.
His administration is weighing punitive actions against China over its early handling of the virus outbreak.
Beijing says the US wants to distract from its own handling of the pandemic.
Since emerging in China at the end of last year, the coronavirus is confirmed to have infected 1.2 million Americans, killing nearly 73,000.
Speaking to reporters in the Oval Office of the White House, Mr Trump said: "We went through the worst attack we've ever had on our country, this is worst attack we've ever had.
"This is worse than Pearl Harbor, this is worse than the World Trade Center. There's never been an attack like this.
"And it should have never happened. Could've been stopped at the source. Could've been stopped in China. It should've been stopped right at the source. And it wasn't."
The US president Donald Trump has again suggested the country may need to accept the reality of more deaths in order to start reopening the economy.
“We have to be warriors,” Trump told Fox News’ John Roberts when asked if Americans should expect additional deaths as the country looks to reopen. “We can’t keep our country closed down for years.”
The president added, “Hopefully that won’t be the case ... but it could very well be the case.”
Trump similarly said yesterday while visiting a mask production facility in Arizona, “Will some people be affected? Yes. Will some people be affected badly? Yes. But we have to get our country open and we have to get it open soon.”