As the US surpassed 1 million confirmed cases of the COVID-19 novel coronavirus on Tuesday, US President Donald Trump used a White House event dedicated to small businesses owners to launch additional accusations at China over its failure to keep the contagious disease within the city of Wuhan.

Trump delivered remarks and answered novel coronavirus-related questions in the East Room, as the White House held an event highlighting small business owners and employees who benefitted from the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) - established via the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act to save small American businesses through forgivable federal loans that also incentivize companies to retain workers. 

“It’s in 184 countries,” Trump said, speaking on the spread of COVID-19. “It’s hard to believe - it’s inconceivable. It should have been stopped at the source - which was China … Now we have 184 countries going through hell.” 

Trump’s Tuesday remarks against Beijing follow the president’s statements at the Monday Coronavirus Task Force briefing that “serious investigations” are being carried out against China. He asserted that the US is “not happy with China” and has a “lot of ways” to respond to Beijing for its handling of the original novel coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan. 

The Chinese Foreign Ministry responded to the US president’s accusations in a Tuesday statement claiming the US is “lying through their teeth.” 

"We advise American politicians to reflect on their own problems and try their best to control the [coronavirus] epidemic as soon as possible instead of continuing to play tricks to deflect blame," Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said, as reported by Fox News. 

The ministry also issued a tweet on Monday questioning whether the US may be hiding vital virus-related information from the “American people and the international community.”

US COVID-19 cases ‘will go down to zero’ 

A reporter also questioned the US president on his present thoughts concerning the more than 1 million confirmed COVID-19 cases in the country, given that he asserted on February 26 that the then-reported 15 American cases of the so-called invisible enemy would “be down close to zero” in a “couple days.” 

“When you have 15 people, and the 15 within a couple of days is going to be down to close to zero, that's a pretty good job we've done," Trump said of the novel coronavirus nearly two months before it resulted in over 57,000 American deaths. 

Holding his ground on Tuesday, Trump argued that the number of COVID-19 cases “will go down to zero, ultimately.”

“You have to understand, when it comes to cases, we do much more testing than anybody else. So we can go to some of these other countries, you know, as an example - China. If you test, you’re going to show many more cases,” he continued. 

As of this article’s publication, the US has logged 1,008,066 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus and 58,126 associated deaths, according to the COVID-19 dashboard by Johns Hopkins University. Data provided also noted that 5,628,374 tests for the contagious disease have been administered in the country, and 115,003 people have recovered from the illness.