US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo

US slams China, WHO for concealing COVID-19, says world must have access to labs to determine source of virus

By Reena Bhardwaj | Updated: Apr 23, 2020 00:39 IST

Washington D.C. [US], April 22 (ANI): US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has slammed China and the World Health Organisation (WHO) for concealing the dangerous disease and information specific to the coronavirus outbreak from the world.
Addressing reporters at a press conference here on Wednesday morning, Pompeo accused China of not sharing relevant information about the coronavirus outbreak and the WHO for not policing the matter appropriately.
The Secretary of State explained that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has still not shared the virus sample from Wuhan province.
"China didn't share all the information it had. It covered up how dangerous the disease is. It didn't report sustained human-to-human transmission for a month until it was inside every province in China. It censored those who tried to warn the world ... and it destroyed existing samples," said Pompeo.
"The CCP has still not shared the virus sample from inside of China with the outside world, making it impossible to track the disease's evolution."
He added that "the World Health Organisation's regulatory arm clearly failed during this pandemic," referring to the obligation to share the viral samples and the policing of such matters according to the International Health Regulations (IHR) of 2005.
Pompeo implied the responsibility for such matters rests with the WHO's chief Dr Tedros.
Pompeo's remarks come at a time when the Trump Administration has raised questions over the Chinese accountability.
Experts have criticised Chinese President Xi Jinping for concealing, destroying and fabricating information about the rampant spread of COVID-19 and suppressing the data by silencing and criminalising dissent.
Coronavirus, which first emerged in the Chinese city of Wuhan in November, has infected over 2.5 million around the world. Countries have accused China of allowing coronavirus to spread to various other parts of the globe.
The bug has killed nearly 1,79,000 worldwide, according to the data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. (ANI)