Washington, Apr 15 (PTI) China did not give Americans access when it was needed the most in the beginning, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said, demanding answers and transparency from Beijing over its handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
Pompeo also criticised the World Health Organization (WHO) for taking an awfully long time in declaring COVID-19 a global pandemic.
'The Chinese Communist Party didn't give Americans access when we needed it in that most timely point at the very beginning. The President talked about that today. And then we know they have this lab. We know about the wet markets. We know that the virus itself did originate in Wuhan. So all those things come together,' Pompeo told Fox News on Tuesday.
There's still a lot that the US does not know, he said.
'We need to know answers to these things. We still have this virus out there. You talked about trying to get the economy going not only here in the United States but around the world,' he said.
'We need answers to these questions, we need transparency, and we need the World Health Organization (WHO) to do its job, to perform its primary function, which is to make sure that the world has accurate, timely, effective, real information about what's going on in the global health space. And they didn't get that done here,' Pompeo said.
Noting that the WHO declined to declare COVID-19 a pandemic for an awfully long time, Pompeo alleged that it was because the Chinese Communist Party did not want that to happen.
'We need a health organization that's going to deliver good outcomes for the world and not do the bidding of any single country. We need accurate information and transparent information. We didn't get it. The world did't get that,' he said.
In another interview to WNTW Richmond, Pompeo said that as of now, the US will focus on the things it needs to keep America safe.
'But there'll come a day when we go back and look and see how we can prevent something like this from ever happening again, to make sure that the institutions that were designed to raise the global alert, the World Health Organization – how it failed to execute on that mission,' he said.
'We need to go take a look at how the WHO performed during this time. There are some things they've gotten right throughout time. They've done great work against AIDS all across the world. We just need to simply make sure that we have it right. We don't want to spend a single dollar from the American taxpayer for an organization that's not keeping Americans safe,' Pompeo said.
Pompeo told Chris Salcedo of The Chris Salcedo Show, KSEV Houston & Newsmax TV that it was known where this virus originated.
'It originated in Wuhan, China. These are just the facts. And we need every government to do two things. One, they've got to be honest about what's going on,' he said.
'They've got to talk about where the disease is in their country, how many fatalities they've had, what kind of cases they have, what kind of testing they're engaged in. And then for the Chinese Government, as the President said when they were talking about the fact that this might have come from an American soldier or an American weapons lab, that's really risky. That creates risk when you put disinformation out there in that way,' Pompeo said.
A known critic of China, Pompeo last month said China's ruling Communist Party posed a 'substantial threat' to Americans' health and their way of life, blasting Beijing for engaging in the intentional 'disinformation campaign' and trying to deflect from its handling of the coronavirus crisis.
The coronavirus death toll in the United States crossed 25,000 on Tuesday with the country witnessing the highest single-day tally of 2,129.
As of Tuesday, more than 6,05,000 Americans had tested positive for the novel coronavirus -- more than the other top three countries taken together -- according to Johns Hopkins University data.
Globally, 126,722 people have died and nearly two million people have been infected by the novel coronavirus, the data showed. PTI LKJ MRJ MRJ