Peter Navarro: 'I blame China' for a lot of the economic hardships plaguing the US

White House trade adviser Peter Navarro told “Sunday Morning Futures” that he blames China for a lot of the economic problems currently plaguing the United States as a result of temporary business shutdowns due to the coronavirus pandemic followed by looting and riots that have evolved after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody.

“This is a time to be opening our businesses, not bringing them down, not turning our major metropolitan areas into theme parks for arsonists and looters. And I blame China for a lot of this,” Navarro said speaking from Washington, D.C., on Sunday.

“If you think about what happened in the 2000s, China, with its unfair trade practices, destroyed factory towns one after one throughout the Midwest,” he went on to explain in the exclusive interview.

“What China's virus is doing, and they unleashed this on the world….  What they’ve done is target like intercontinental ballistic missiles the two pillars of American cities, the high rise density and the mass transit, without those two things, our cities don't work.”

Navarro went on to note that President Trump built “the most beautiful economy in history” in three-and-a-half years.

PETER NAVARRO: CHINA HAS EXPLOITED CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC TO ADVANCE ITS STRATEGIC INTERESTS -- HERE'S HOW

“We can do it again, but we are going to need the major metropolitan areas to get back to work,” he said.

“When I look around at this city, with [Washington D.C. Mayor] Muriel Bowser, it's not happening any time soon.”

Navarro made the comments one day after hundreds of thousands of protesters gathered across Washington, D.C., including near the White House, to march against police brutality and racism in response to the recent death of Floyd -- part of protests that took place in cities across the U.S.

DC READIES FOR SATURDAY PROTESTS AS POLICE CHIEF SAYS IT MAY BE 'LARGEST WE'VE HAD IN THE CITY'

Crowds applauded Bowser as she walked along the portion of 16th Street that she renamed Black Lives Matter Plaza. Bowser has feuded with President Trump over the city's handling of the protests, which devolved into riots earlier in the week.

Trump accused her of not doing enough to shut down the violence, while Bowser has pushed back on Trump's calls for the use of federal law enforcement to quell disturbances.

On Sunday, Navarro, who had just returned from a trip with Trump to Guilford, Maine, echoed the president’s criticism of Mayor Bowser.

“Here's what my concern is in this kind of tale of two cities where we had Gilford, Maine, prospering, D.C. right now is a burned-out shell and the second worst mayor in America, Muriel Bowser, is largely responsible for that,” Navarro said.

“She waited until all 50 states to reopen this place and it's not open now,” he continued. “What it is basically is graffiti, it's boarded up places.”

He then did “a little math” to showcase how the current violence is affecting jobs in the country.

“When you have an arsonist burn out a small business, that's 100 jobs that are destroyed, not just inside the enterprise, but along the supply chain,” Navarro explained. “When you have a pack of animals go in and loot a big store, that's thousands of jobs.”

“If you add that up… over the 16 major metropolitan areas where the National Guard has had to be deployed, that's almost 2 million jobs that are being impacted at a time when China has put 40 million Americans out of work and killed 100,000 Americans.”

As of Sunday, 109,846 COVID-19 deaths have been reported in the U.S., according to Johns Hopkins University.

The latest weekly jobless claims report from the Labor Department, which covers the week ended May 30, pushes the 11-week total of losses since states directed residents to stay at home and forced nonessential businesses to temporarily close to roughly 42 million, a rate of unemployment unseen since the Great Depression.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Navarro wrote a Fox News op-ed published on Sunday where he outlined how “China has exploited” the coronavirus pandemic “to advance its strategic interests.”

Fox News’ Morgan Phillips, Adam Shaw and Fox Business’ Megan Henney contributed to this report.