U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told Breitbart News exclusively that President Donald Trump is “committed” to holding the Chinese Communist Party accountable for the coronavirus pandemic and will be considering options on how to do so in the near future.
Pompeo, who joined Breitbart News Saturday on SiriusXM 125 the Patriot Channel for an exclusive interview, said he is coordinating with his counterparts around the world and working with the president on developing what “precise mechanisms” will be used to hold China accountable for the pandemic.
“I don’t want to get out in front of what President Trump will ultimately decide, but I think we all know in this administration that we have to make sure that something like this can never happen again,” Pompeo said when asked how the United States will proceed with accountability with regard to China over coronavirus. “That means deterrence. That means setting up processes. The president has already stopped funding to the WHO so that we can evaluate that and figure out which pieces of the WHO might actually work and which pieces don’t so that we can deliver good outcomes and keep Americans safe and make sure this doesn’t happen again. Then, there will come a time, there will come a day when we evaluate what it is that needs to be done to convince the Chinese Communist Party that there are real costs—real costs—connected to this kind of misbehavior. You know this—we say this all the time inside the United States but around the world too, we have to hold nations accountable. I’m talking with many of my counterparts around the world. We have to hold nations accountable for the things and actions that they undertake which create risk, and in this case created enormous loss of life here in the United States. President Trump is committed to doing that. The precise mechanisms we will choose. I want to make sure he gets fully briefed to make those decisions.”
What should the penalty be for #China's role in spreading the #coronavirus? @SecPompeo joins @BreitbartNews Saturday, tomorrow at 11 am ET, to discuss the threat posed by the Chinese Communist Party https://t.co/GYAzJnPHxP pic.twitter.com/KLbULPiDmJ
— SiriusXM Patriot (@SiriusXMPatriot) May 16, 2020
The U.S. Intelligence Community has unanimously confirmed that the coronavirus emanated from Wuhan, China, originating there. It is unclear whether the virus leaked out of the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV), a lab that the U.S. partially funded with American taxpayer dollars from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) National Institute on Allergies and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) or from a wet market. A statement from the acting Director of National Intelligence a couple weeks ago confirmed that U.S. intelligence officials believe it either came from the lab or the wet market—but it definitely came from China.
Pompeo told Breitbart News in this exclusive interview that the Chinese Communist Party is blocking American investigators from learning more about the origins of the virus. The lack of transparency from the Communist regime, he noted, is hampering public health officials in their quest for a vaccine or other treatments and has slowed the ability of the world to be able to respond to the pandemic. He added that U.S. efforts to learn more about the origins of the virus are not political in nature, but aimed at trying to help doctors worldwide fight COVID-19—and that the Chinese Communist Party’s cover-up of this is hurting those efforts.
“Sadly, we’re not much further than we were weeks and weeks ago,” Pompeo said when asked how the investigation is going. “The Chinese Communist Party has relentlessly deceived and denied information to the west. We have repeatedly asked to have teams go in and assist them to identify where the virus originated. We know it began in Wuhan, but we don’t know from where or from whom, and those are important things. Your listeners need to know. We still need to know that so we can break the code on this thing. One of the key facts for scientists and epidemiologists to build out vaccines and therapeutics and to identify how this was ultimately delivered to the world. You have to know where patient zero began and how patient zero became infected. Yet, the Chinese Communist Party has at every turn attempted to manage the World Health Organization to manage the information flow, to punish doctors who wanted to talk about this publicly, to undermine the central understandings of transparency that every country has a responsibility to deliver. As a result of that, we still have so many unanswered questions. We, the United States, the world, have so many unanswered questions that are incredibly important so we can address these issues going forward to keep the American people safe. This isn’t political. This isn’t aimed at achieving a political victory. It’s aimed squarely at getting the right health outcomes and saving lives across the world.”
What’s more, Pompeo said that the Chinese knew at least by December—potentially as early as November—what a major threat the coronavirus was and withheld that information even into January from the rest of the world. Had the Chinese been more transparent at the outset, and had they been honest, Pompeo said the world’s ability to confront the coronavirus pandemic would have been much different.
“We know this much. We know that in December at least, maybe earlier, the Chinese Communist Party came to understand the threat that was presented,” Pompeo said. “Then we watched their actions. I’ve talked about some of them—denying information to the world. We then saw that when the United States made the decision, when President Trump made the decision, to close off travel between the United States and China, we saw China squawk at that and say we shouldn’t be doing that. Even though they had locked down Wuhan, they had not locked down travel all across the world. Those are the kinds of decisions that as you stare at them it is unambiguous that it created increased risk to people who were still traveling around the world. Why? As the Chinese Communist Party knew of the risk of transmission, they were still allowing people to travel outside of China while they had locked down a major city inside of their own country. We know those all to be facts, and we know had they made a different set of decisions at the front end there would have been more time for the entire world—not just the United States but the entire world—to prepare and react to the pandemic that has now spread all across the globe.”
LISTEN TO SECRETARY MIKE POMPEO ON BREITBART NEWS SATURDAY: