Pompeo: Beijing Hides Information about the Coronavirus
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has sharply criticized China's behavior in the spread of coronavirus, saying the ruling Communist Party is still hiding information needed to prevent other cases.
In an interview with Washington Watch, Pompeo reiterated earlier claims that China's delay in reporting the virus has endangered people around the world, saying it "really put thousands of lives at risk," according to the BBC.
"I am concerned that with this cover-up, with this misinformation, the Chinese Communist Party continues to save the world the necessary information to prevent new cases from occurring or something similar," he added.
Pompeo also accused Iran and Russia of campaigning for the virus's misinformation.
"The misinformation campaigns of Russia and Iran, as well as of China, continue," he said. "They say the virus came from the US military, and they say it may have started in Italy to not take responsibility," Pompeo said.
Earlier, Defense Secretary Mark Esper said that China defense officials did not respond to offers of US assistance as early as January.
"If the Chinese government had been more transparent early on, we’re talking late fall, December at least, we would all -- all of us, all the nations of the world -- would have been able to get our arms around this and contain it in China where it began and prevent its propagation around the world," Esper said on Fox News.
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