Daily US Times: A report of the US Department of Homeland Security found that Chinese government intentionally concealed the severity of the coronavirus from the international community while it stockpiled imports and decreased exports. Meanwhile, Mike Pompeo Claims that the US has ‘enormous evidence’ that suggests the virus came from Chinese lab.
According to an administration official familiar with the report said: “China likely cut its exports of medical supplies prior to its January WHO (World Health Organization) notification that COVID-19 is a contagion.”
The report, which assessed import and export data earlier this year, was circulated within the federal government on Friday. ABC first reported it.
Earlier on Sunday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo claims that China mounted efforts to hide the extent of the coronavirus spread, including concealing the severity while stockpiling medical supplies.
“You’ve got the facts just about right,” Pompeo told ABC’s ”This Week”.
”We can confirm that the Chinese Communist Party did all that it could to make sure that the world didn’t learn in a timely fashion about what was taking place,” he adds.
Pompeo made these comments in a time when President Trump continuously blaming China and his administration is formulating a long-term plan to punish China on multiple fronts for the coronavirus pandemic, injecting a rancorous new element into a critical relationship already on a steep downward slide.
Multiple sources inside the administration say that there is an appetite to use various tools, including canceling US debt obligations, sanctions, and drawing up new trade policies, to make clear to China, and to everyone else, where they feel the responsibility lies.
The Trump administration has escalated its effort to blame China for the global spread, while there are serious questions about China’s transparency. President Trump also facing mountain criticism over his administration’s handling of the pandemic situation.
Earlier in the outbreak, President Donald Trump repeatedly downplayed the threat from the virus and showed confidence that it would not be a problem for the US at a time when it was clearly already spreading across the globe.
Despite he is now blaming China for the global mess, Trump also repeatedly showered Chinese President Xi Jinping with praise for his management of the crisis as he sought to safeguard a trade deal with the Chinese.
According to the source, the DHS assessment also says, “in its communications, China intentionally concealed its trade activity by publicly denying it has ever imposed an export ban on masks and other medical supplies”.
Pompeo said, “There’s enormous evidence that that’s where this began” when being asked about the belief expressed by Trump and if he had seen evidence backing that claim.
Pompeo claims ‘Enormous evidence’ virus came from Chinese lab
In the same ABC interview, Mike Pompeo said that there is “enormous evidence” that the coronavirus pandemic originated in a laboratory in the Chinese city of Wuhan, but he did not present any facts to defend his claim.
The World Health Organization maintains that the virus is of “animal origin” and not manufactured in a lab.
Since the pandemic began, two laboratories in Wuhan have come under the spotlight- including one near a market where Chinese authorities said the outbreak started. But evidence that the virus was released from one of the labs – accidentally or intentionally- is highly circumstantial.
Mr Pompeo accused the Chinese government of stonewalling any investigations and refusing to co-operate with experts.
Analyzing the early days of outbreak in Wuhan, there are serious questions to be addressed about China’s transparency and whether its autocratic system fostered an attempt to cover it up.