“I am not the one trying to undermine American democracy. I’m the one that’s trying to save it. Please remember that.”
Former US President Donald Trump returned to the political stage with a speech at the Republican Convention in North Carolina on Saturday.
It was a rare public outing for Trump since he left the White House in January.
During the speech, he joined other Republicans in criticising infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci over his handling of the pandemic.
“He’s a great promoter, you know, not a great doctor but he’s a hell of a promoter.”
“Fauci has perhaps never been more wrong than when he denied the virus and where it came from.”
Trump doubled down on claims that the virus leaked from a lab in Wuhan.
He called on China to pay $10 trillion in reparations to the US and the world, and said nations should cancel their debt to Beijing.
“The time has come for America and the world to demand reparations and accountability from the Communist Party of China.”
The origin of the virus remains hotly contested, and is under study by US intelligence agencies.
Trump also derided Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerburg after he was suspended from the company’s social media platforms for two years.
Trump was banned on several social media platforms after the deadly storming of Capitol Hill in January that left five dead.
“They say they may allow me back in two years, I’m not I’m not too interested in that.”
Saturday’s speech comes as Trump continues to hint that he may run in the presidential elections in 2024.