US seeks transparency on COVID-19 outbreak from China


US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has repeatedly accused Beijing of covering up the scale of the coronaviurs outbreak in the early days in the central Chinese city of Wuhan.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (AP photo)

Washington: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo spoke to China's diplomat to underscore the Trump administration's demand for "full transparency and information sharing" from China about the origins and spread of the novel coronavirus, his spokesperson said.

Pompeo's phone call to Yang Jiechi, Director of the Office of Foreign Affairs of the Communist Party of China, came a day after US President Donald Trump announced to halt the funding to World Health Organization alleging that it sided with China on the coronavirus issue and mislead the world.

“The Secretary stressed the need for full transparency and information sharing to combat the COVID-19 pandemic and prevent future outbreaks,” State Department spokesperson Morgan Ortagus said on Wednesday.

Pompeo has repeatedly accused Beijing of covering up the scale of the coronaviurs outbreak in the early days in the central Chinese city of Wuhan.

During the call, he also noted the aid the American people delivered to the people of China in January - and continue to offer - and the high importance the US attaches to China's facilitation of medical supply exports to meet critical demand in the United States.

The US has over 639,000 confirmed Covid-19 cases and over 30,900 deaths.

“The two sides confirmed their commitment to defeat the COVID-19 outbreak and restore global health and prosperity,” Ortagus said.

Pompeo “stressed the need for full transparency and information sharing to combat the COVID-19 pandemic and prevent future outbreaks,” the department said in a statement.

Earlier, Pompeo told Fox News on Tuesday that China did not give Americans access when it was needed the most in the beginning of the outbreak in the central Chinese city of Wuhan.

Pompeo also criticised the WHO for taking an awfully long time in declaring the COVID-19 a global pandemic. The deadly disease has infected over 2,072,000 people and killed 137,600 people across the world.

PTI

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