Donald Trump returned to the GOP political scene Saturday with a speech at the North Carolina Republican Convention, where he called on China to pay "reparations" to the U.S. for coronavirus-related damages.
"All nations should work together to present China a bill for a minimum of $10 trillion to compensate for the damage," Trump said, adding that the figure was lower than it should be. "As a first step, all countries should collectively cancel any debt they owe to China as a down payment on reparations," he said.
Trump said he also thought the U.S. should put a 100% tariff on any goods imported from China.
In a lengthy speech Saturday night, the former president echoed sentiments from Republicans on the Hill and went after infectious disease specialist Anthony Fauci for reversing his stance on the importance of wearing masks early in the pandemic.
"Fauci said powerfully at the beginning, no masks," Trump chided Saturday. "Then he became a radical masker," he said.
"Get a pair of goggles," he added as the conservative crowd laughed.
Trump, widely known for his own personal branding, mocked Fauci for his.
"He’s a nice guy, not a great doctor, but a great promoter," Trump said to more laughs. "He’s been wrong on almost every issue."
"Generally speaking I went the opposite way of Dr. Fauci," Trump added.
Emails released earlier this week through several Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests revealed that at the onset of the pandemic, Fauci advised people not to wear masks. It turned out he had hoped to save them for first responders to prevent a shortage.
But as the virus escalated across the nation, he and other top officials reversed their guidance and advised all Americans to wear masks when in public spaces.
Trump also reiterated unproven claims regarding the integrity of the 2020 election – comments that resulted in Trump’s two-year ban from Facebook.
The former president claimed Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg "broke the law spending millions of dollars" on encouraging voting in Democratic-led areas in the country, he said.
Trump expressed his frustration at what he believes is a systematic attack against the right done by blocking posts and accounts of those who suggest the election was "rigged."
"They say they may allow me back in two years," Trump said. Adding, "I’m not too interested in that."
Despite hitting some of the biggest issues facing the nation, Trump kept his speech jovial at times, commenting on the spike in growth of his youngest son.
Baron is 6’7" and still only 15, Trump told his supporters, joking that his son older Eric "is short."
"He’s only 6’6", but we love our Eric," Trump added to laughs.