U.S. Ambassador to the United Kingdom Woody Johnson has placed blame on China for the coronavirus pandemic devastation that is sweeping the world, saying the country “tried to suppress the news.”
Johnson’s comments came in an op-ed for the British newspaper the Times on Thursday.
Johnson claimed China “tried to suppress the news” of the coronavirus as it appeared in a Wuhan city wet market. He went on to claim that Beijing only shared select information with international officials as the virus spread.
Had China done the right things at the right time, more of its own population, and the rest of the world, might have been spared the most serious impact of this disease. When the crisis finally abates we should take stock of the outcome and evaluate the costs of this breakdown in international collaboration.
Multiple Chinese officials have claimed that the coronavirus originated in the United States, a conspiracy theory that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned Yang Jiechi, director of Beijing’s Office of Foreign Affairs, not to promote.
“It is bad enough when conspiracy-theory cranks spread dangerous misinformation around the world. It is far worse, and more dangerous, when malign misinformation is spread by a government’s officials,” Johnson wrote in the op-ed.
“That is exactly what the People’s Republic of China has been doing, spreading false accusations about the origin and spread of the coronavirus,” Johnson added.
A Harris poll released earlier this week found a majority of the American people believe the Chinese government is to blame for unleashing the Wuhan coronavirus upon the world. The poll concluded 55 percent believe China is to blame for the virus versus 45 percent who did not agree. Fifty-two percent agreed with Trump’s use of the term “China Virus,” while 42 percent did not.