U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo again criticized China, saying that Beijing’s “delay” in exchanging information about the coronavirus has created risks for people around the world.
In an interview with the Washington Watch radio program, Pompeo said he was concerned about “the withholding of information and misinformation that the Communist Party of China is dealing with, still depriving the world of the information it needs so we can prevent the recurrence of new cases or something like that.
He also accused Iran and Russia of conducting misinformation campaigns about the virus. “The misinformation campaign in Russia, Iran and China continues.
Despite his strong criticism of China, Pompeo refrained from defining the virus as “Chinese virus” or “Wuhan virus” – labels that pissed off Beijing and which he used repeatedly, Reuters reports.
“The time will come for mutual accusations,” Pompeo said, adding that it’s important for the world to know what’s really going on. “This is an ongoing global crisis and we must ensure that every country today is transparent by sharing what is really happening so that the world community, the global health and infectious disease community can get started.
In Beijing, Foreign Ministry spokesman Gen Shuang said China is transparent and has shared information with the World Health Organization and other countries, including the United States. “We call on the United States to stop politicizing the epidemic and stop attacking and slandering China,” Gen said at a daily press conference.
Pompeo said “very important decisions” will need to be made in the future about how U.S. and Chinese relations will be structured. He added that the supply chain problems facing the United States were caused by companies “managing their supply chains from China but in the United States.