Secretary of State Blinken: China ‘Has to Cooperate’ with COVID Origin Probe

Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Sunday on CBS’s “Face the Nation” that China must cooperate with investigations from the United States and the World Health Organization into investigating the origins of the coronavirus pandemic.

Anchor John Dickerson said, “Let me ask about the Chinese have said they’re not going to help the US investigate the potential of a lab-leak in the start of COVID-19. Does the US have any sway in getting cooperation from the Chinese?”

Blinken said, “I think the- not only the United States, but the world is insisting on it. One of the things that’s coming out of the G7 is an insistence that the WHO be able to move forward with China cooperating on this so-called Phase-two report to build on the initial report, which had real problems with it, not the least of which was China’s failure to cooperate. And here’s the thing, coming out of this, we need a couple of things. We need to understand what happened. We need to get to the bottom of it. And we’re working on that through the WHO. We’re also working on that ourselves. The president ordered a 90-day sprint led by our intelligence community to try to get to the bottom of it.”

“And the main purpose is to make sure that knowing what happened, why it happened, how it happened, we can put in place what’s necessary to prevent it from happening again or at least to mitigate the next outbreak,” he added. “China has to cooperate with that transparency, access for international experts, information sharing that has to happen. And again, I think you’re seeing countries coming together to- to insist on that.”

Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN

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