Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon on Thursday sharply criticized China’s handling of the coronavirus outbreak, suggesting the country should be held financially responsible for the pandemic.

“The Chinese Communist Party is going to have to pay,” Bannon said on CNBC’s “Squawk Box.” “I think the world’s going to hold them in judgement, and that judgement is not going to be very pretty. They owe trillions, if not tens of trillions of dollars,” he added.

Bannon, a longtime China critic, said the Chinese government was purposefully misleading about the deadly virus outbreak when it began in the country late last year.

He pointed to early suggestions from officials in the country that the virus could not be transmitted from person to person, before ultimately confirming it could be in late January.

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