Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is accusing China of an “intentional disinformation campaign” by China on coronavirus, as the United States deals with its own growing outbreak.
In a news briefing Wednesday, Pompeo said China was “the first country to know about the risk to the world from this virus. And they repeatedly delayed sharing that information with the globe.”
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang refuted the accusation Monday, saying that China had been transparent and shared information with the U.S. and other countries.
The number of U.S. deaths from coronavirus now exceeds 800. State and local governments are continuing to close nonessential businesses in an effort to slow the spread of the virus.
Pompeo also condemned the March 25 attack by the Islamic State group on a temple in Kabul, Afghanistan. The Trump administration announced Monday it is slashing $1 billion in assistance to Afghanistan, and threatened further reductions if the country’s rival leaders — Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah — fail to agree on forming a new government.
The move came after the secretary met with the two leaders in an unannounced visit, which Pompeo called today “very frustrating,” adding that he would try to convince all parties in Afghanistan that it was time for peace and reconciliation.