Dismissing Beijing's criticism for calling COVID-19 a "Chinese virus", US President Donald Trump has accused it of spreading false information about the US.
"I didn't appreciate the fact that China was saying that our military gave it to them," Trump said on Tuesday when he was asked at a news briefing in Washington about the China's criticism. "Our military did not give it to anybody."
"China was putting out information, which was false," he said.
He said, "Rather than having an argument, I said I have to call it where it came from; it did come from China. So, I think it's a very accurate term."
COVID-19 originated in Wuhan in China,
China's Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Geng Shuang took exception to Trump using the term "Chinese virus" in a tweet on Monday to describe COVID-19.
He said the US should "correct its mistake and stop its groundless accusations against China".
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had accused China of impeding world efforts to fight the coronavirus through censorship.
"Had China permitted its own and foreign journalists and medical personnel to speak and investigate freely, Chinese officials and other nations would have been far better prepared to address the challenge," he had said.
Earlier in a tweet, Speaker Nancy Pelosi had accused House of Representatives Republican leader Kevin McCarthy of being "bigoted" and "spreading misinformation" because he had called COVID-19 "Chinese coronavirus".
However, she has repeatedly referred to another virus that originated in Africa - Ebola Virus - by the name of the river and region where it was found.