Vice President Pence Threatens to Hold China ‘Accountable’ for Reported Concealment of COVID-19 Information

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Vice President Pence Threatens to Hold China 'Accountable' for Reported Concealment of COVID-19 Information
This photograph taken on February 3, 2020, exhibits a health care provider a lung CT picture whereas making his rounds at a ward in Wuhan, the unique epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak, in China’s central Hubei province. U.S. authorities officers have threatened to retaliate towards China for what they imagine had been makes an attempt to hide the character and severity of the preliminary outbreak from the surface world. STR/AFP/Getty

In a satellite tv for pc radio interview on Saturday, Vice President Mike Pence issued a risk to China over its dealing with of the coronavirus, saying the nation “will be held accountable” for reported makes an attempt to hide details about the COVID-19 outbreak.

“China let the world down,” Pence advised the conservative channel Breitbart News Saturday, which is hosted on the SiriusXM community. “I mean, it’s remarkable to think China didn’t even let American CDC personnel in on the ground until mid-February to find out what was going on.”

The vice chairman additional accused the World Health Organization of being China’s “willing partner” in its reported concealment of COVID-19 data.

Both the WHO and the Chinese Embassy in Washington didn’t return Newsweek‘s requests for remark earlier than publication.

Newsweek has beforehand reported on a Central Intelligence Agency evaluation discovering that earlier this yr China threatened to chop off WHO’s entry to the nation for its coronavirus investigation if the group declared a world well being emergency.

Saturday’s feedback are the newest in a string of retaliatory measures both proposed or threatened by U.S. officers.

Republican Senator Josh Hawley launched laws in April that may strip China of a lot of the civil immunity it receives underneath the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, which protects overseas governments from most U.S. lawsuits, reminiscent of these looking for accountability for the COVID-19 pandemic.

In justifying the laws, Hawley stated on the time “there is overwhelming evidence that the Chinese Communist Party’s lies, deceit, and incompetence caused COVID-19 to transform from a local disease outbreak into a global pandemic.”

Other outstanding lawmakers have spoken out towards China’s dealing with of the disaster, reminiscent of Republican Senator Marco Rubio, now the chairman of the Intelligence Committee, who stated China’s “failure” to be clear “has cost the lives of people around the world.”

Bipartisan laws has been launched to scale back reliance on Chinese provide chains for important items, reminiscent of prescribed drugs, amid the confluence of COVID-19 with a bunch of different longstanding financial issues.

In latest weeks, President Donald Trump’s evident frustrations with China have appeared to boil over. In mid-May, the president threatened to “cut off the whole relationship” with China, complaining concerning the nature of world provide chains amid a worldwide pandemic.

How the administration intends on pursuing its multi-lateral grievances—commerce, human rights, public well being—with China in a unified method stays unclear. But it’s persevering with to make discrete strikes which have served to antagonize the nation.

Over the previous two weeks, the Department of Commerce has moved to dam entry to U.S. items and companies for Chinese entities, together with the telecommunications big Huawei, a key ingredient of China’s overseas enterprise portfolio.

On Friday, the division added 24 Chinese companies to its Entity List, forbidding U.S. exporters from doing enterprise with the businesses within the absence of particular authorization. China has, in its personal proper, threatened to retaliate towards outstanding U.S. firms, reminiscent of Apple, in response to the administration’s restrictions.