Pompeo Takes China to Task Over New Reports About How the Wuhan Coronavirus Began

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Posted: Apr 15, 2020 10:00 PM
Pompeo Takes China to Task Over New Reports About How the Wuhan Coronavirus Began

Source: AP Photo/Sait Serkan Gurbuz

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday slammed the Chinese Community Party for failing to alert the world about the Wuhan coronavirus. According a new report, China developed the virus in a lab "not as a bioweapon, but as part of China's effort to demonstrate that its efforts to identify and combat viruses are equal to or greater than the capabilities of the United States." 

Patient zero reportedly contracted the Wuhan coronavirus in the lab from a bat and then went around Wuhan, where the virus spread. China allegedly used the wet market to deflect from the lab. 

"What we do know is we know that this virus originated in Wuhan, China. We know there is the Wuhan Institute of Virology just a handful of miles away from where the wet market was," Pompeo told Fox News' Martha MacCallum. "There is still lots to learn. The United States government is working diligently to figure it out."

"What we really need is the Chinese government to open up. They say they want to cooperate and one of the best ways they could find to cooperate would be to let the world in, to let the world's scientists know exactly how this came to be, exactly how this virus began to spread," the Secretary of State explained.

According to Pompeo, the Chinese Community Party did the world a disservice by not alerting other leaders about the Wuhan coronavirus sooner. It took them days before they brought the information to light. During that time, people were still traveling and moving around like normal, which added to the spread of the virus.

The Secretary of State said he has spoken with his counterparts across the world, and everyone is in agreement that China deliberately withheld information.

"It's very difficult to make the case that there was anything but absence of shared information in a timely fashion. It didn't just put Americans at risk. It put people around the world at risk," Pompeo explained. "... The Chinese government needs to come clean. It needs to be held accountable and needs to explain what happened and why it is the case that that information wasn't made more broadly available."

Pompeo said the world would have responded differently had leaders known about the extent of the virus. International organizations, like the World Health Organization, failed to take warnings seriously and inform world leaders.

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