The United States is working with International partners to ensure they understand that the Coronavirus originated in China, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said.
Appearing on the Ben Shapiro Show, Secretary Pompeo made clear that it is the position of the US that Beijing should explain to the rest of the world where the Coronavirus came from and that it should have to make reparations for the economic fallout of the pandemic.
“We need to hold accountable the parties responsible for the deaths here in the United States and the enormous economic costs that have been posed on the US,” said Secretary Pompeo.
“Diplomatically, we’re reaching out to countries all across the world to help them do the right thing, to help their economies get started back up, and to make sure that when the time is right, we can get international travel kicked back up, so that global commerce can recommence. If you get demand back up, that will matter an awful lot to workers right here in the United States of America,” Secretary Pompeo added.
However, Mr Pompeo made clear that the US’ contacts with other countries are not limited to issues of global travel and the rebooting of damaged economies.
“We are also working with these countries to make sure that they understand that this was in fact a virus that originated in Wuhan, China; that the Chinese government knew about this certainly by December 2019,” he said.
“…That they [China] failed to comply with their most fundamental obligations as a nation, and importantly, too, failed to comply with the international health regulations of the World Health Organization and then did a lot of things… to cover that up.”
The Secretary of State, often seen as one among many “China Hawks” within the US administration, also criticised the WHO for its role in the Coronavirus pandemic, saying that it failed to protect the world.
“We’re not going to let that happen again [pandemic outbreak], and we’re going to set up something, a system, which delivers an outcome, which reduces the risk that anything like this can ever happen again, from China or any place.”
US Accusations Against China
Pompeo is not the only Trump administration official to recently condemn China over its early response to the virus.
In a separate interview, National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien said that the “burden is on the Chinese to explain where the virus came from. But there is a lab in Wuhan that deals with this sort of virus. And we need to know if there was some sort of release. Accidental, perhaps.”
Not least of all, President Trump has repeatedly questioned whether China is being truthful both about its death toll numbers and about the origins of the virus. In April at one of his daily White House briefings, Mr Trump said Beijing would face consequences if it was "knowingly responsible" for the outbreak.
"It could have been stopped in China before it started and it wasn't, and the whole world is suffering from it," Mr Trump said.
Calls for an investigation into China's early handling of the crisis have also been made outside of the US. Recently, a group of conservatives in the EU parliament said that an investigation needs to be carried out into whether China concealed the truth from both domestic and international audiences over the true danger of Coronavirus.
China has furiously dismissed claims that it reacted too slowly, or tried to cover up, the initial outbreak of Coronavirus on its soil. In early April, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, Hua Chunying, told reporters that, “the comments made by those US politicians are just shameless and morally repulsive. They should abandon such politicising of public health issues.”