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Iran Press TV

Pompeo indirectly accuses China of dishonesty over COVID-19 pandemic

Iran Press TV

Wednesday, 08 April 2020 9:57 AM

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has indirectly accused China of not being transparent and honest about the coronavirus pandemic in the country, which reported no deaths from the illness for the first time since the outbreak began.

Speaking at a news conference on Tuesday at the US State Department, Pompeo said all countries must provide accurate and timely data to help the world learn more about COVID-19. He did not mention China by name and avoided harsh rhetoric he has used recently.

"Every nation, be they a democracy or not, has to share this information in a transparent, open, efficient way," he said.

The top US diplomat has previously accused China of covering up the scale of the outbreak in the early days and not sharing accurate data. Beijing insists it has been transparent about the pandemic and has sharply criticized US officials who cast doubt on that.

Trump accused the World Health Organization (WHO) on Tuesday of being "China-centric" and said he would temporarily block US funding for the Geneva-based UN health organization.

"The WHO really blew it," Trump said in a Twitter post. "For some reason, funded largely by the United States, yet very China centric."

Trump has blamed China for the global pandemic, repeatedly using the term "Chinese virus" despite criticism that it is racist and anti-Chinese.

On Monday, China reported no coronavirus deaths for the first time since the outbreak began and a drop in new cases, but a northern town started restricting the movement of its residents amid concerns of a second wave of infections in the country.

While China has managed to curtail its coronavirus epidemic, the extreme measures to contain it have inflicted a heavy toll on its economy and social interactions.

The coronavirus outbreak, which began in Wuhan, China, has infected over 1.4 million people, killing more than 82,000 of them and wreaking havoc on the global economy as governments imposed lockdowns to rein in its spread.

More than 50,000 people in Wuhan were infected, and more than 2,500 of them died, about 80% of all deaths in China, according to official figures.

As of April 8, more than 398,000 people have been confirmed with the coronavirus in the US, with nearly 13,000 deaths, according to a Reuters tally.

The United States has by far the most known COVID-19 cases with nearly twice as many as Spain and in Italy, but fewer deaths than in the two hardest-hit European nations.

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