President Donald Trump and Pompeo have repeatedly said they suspect the novel coronavirus that was first detected in Wuhan was somehow released from the laboratory.
Amid the war of words between the US and China over the COVID-19 crisis, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Sunday that the authoritarian nature of China’s ruling Communist Party and its desire to have hegemonic influence around the world has become clear as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. President Donald Trump and Pompeo have repeatedly said they suspect the novel coronavirus that was first detected in Wuhan was somehow released from the laboratory. “The nature of the Chinese Communist Party now, I think, has become clear as a result of this coronavirus. Those of us who have been watching this had been talking about this risk to the world. We know the nature of authoritarian regimes. We know what happens when there’s not freedom, when journalists can’t speak,” Pompeo told Sky News Australia.
“Then we’ve watched the Chinese Communist Party also expand its desire to have hegemonic influence around the world, whether that’s through the Belt and Road Initiative or other efforts to use government state-sponsored enterprises to achieve political and defense and security outcomes,” he said. He said that those are the things the world could see about China as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. “It saw that the reflexes to cover up, to hide, not to protect and secure and keep safe those are the kind of things that authoritarian regimes do by nature, and it’s what happened to the world as a result of the coronavirus. I think countries all across the globe can see that now,” he said.
Reiterating that both the Chinese Communist Party and the World Health Organization from at least December through February of this year tried to cover up what was going on, Pompeo alleged that they knew it; they had information. “They knew there was this risk. We saw them close down Hubei province but leave open flights to Milan and flights to Tehran ‘places both greatly impacted’ flights to places like New York City, I’m sure Australia as well,” he said.
“That’s not the nature of what good governments do. What governments who are trying to protect and defend and secure do is they would alert the world. They would bring in the world’s best experts to help them resolve the problem. They would make sure that the entire world had access to the virus samples, access to the laboratories, all the things that would be needed to keep people safe, and they chose not to do that and created enormous risk,” Pompeo said.
In response to a question, he expressed his opposition to the Belt and Road Initiative deal that the Victoria Labor state government is in the middle of signing up with China. The overall number of global coronavirus cases has increased to over 5.3 million, while the death toll surged past 342,000, according to the Johns Hopkins University.
The death toll from the coronavirus outbreak in the US is nearing 100,000.