Wednesday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo went on the attack against the Chinese Communist Party for what he described as a “disinformation campaign” on the coronavirus.
According to the nation’s top diplomat, China’s unwillingness to be honest about the situation put “countless lives” in jeopardy.
“We did, in fact, call in the Chinese ambassador, and I spoke to my counterpart in China a couple of days back,” he said. “This disinformation campaign which began when we began to call out this — this risk that was created not only for the Chinese people but now, we can see people all across the world, where the Chinese government knew about this risk, had identified it, they were the first to know, and they wasted valuable days at the front end, allowing hundreds of thousands of people to leave Wuhan, to go to places like Italy, that’s now suffering so badly.”
“They tried to suppress this information,” Pompeo continued. “We talked about the means by which they did it. Instead of trying to actually do the work to suppress the virus, which is what the world demanded, and the Chinese Communist Party didn’t get it right and put countless lives at risk as a result of that.”
Pompeo explained how the Chinese government had stood in the way with many efforts by the global community to get a grasp on the pandemic.
“We have had an incredibly difficult time getting professional medical people in,” Pompeo said. “You’ll recall early on, we offered to have America’s finest experts to travel there to assist them, to assist the World Health Organization. We weren’t permitted in. These are the kinds of things that the Chinese Communist Party has done that had put the world and the world’s people at risk. They haven’t been sufficiently transparent, and the risk, Sean, that you find, where if we don’t get this right, if we don’t get to the bottom of this, is this could — this could be something that’s repeatable, maybe not in this form, maybe not on this way, but transparency matters.”
“That’s why when we see them forcing journalists out, when we see people who’ve been talking about this, Chinese citizens who have been talking about this no longer having access to the Internet, no longer able to speak openly and freely, there’s risks, there’s questions,” he continued. “And it’s important, as a — America’s most senior diplomat, we have an obligation to try and help make sure that we get this information from the Chinese Communist Party so we can help our medical professionals here in the United States get this right and save lives for Americans and for people all across the world.”
Follow Jeff Poor on Twitter @jeff_poor