A war of words broke out between China and the United States over the alleged spread of misinformation regarding Coronavirus. While the US accused China of spreading disinformation, China hit back by reminding President Trump about his tweets thanking President Xi for his efforts to curb the virus spread.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has accused China of disseminating wrong information regarding Coronavirus. He named the Chinese ruling party as one of the actors behind the rapid spread of disinformation. Pompeo through a video message said that the ''disinformation is not only coming from random actors around the world - but also from the Chinese Communist Party, Russia, and the Iranian regime''. The Secretary of the State used the term ''Wuhan virus'' rather than calling it COVID19. ''We must not permit these efforts to undermine our democracy, our freedom, and how we're responding to the Wuhan Virus'', he said.
Pompeo in his address appealed people to trust government platforms for correct information regarding the situation. "We must not allow misinformation to undermine our efforts to fight #coronavirus. We're delivering good outcomes for the American people and will continue to do so. I encourage all Americans to go only to trusted sources such as @CDCgov and @TravelGovfor reliable information'', added the Secretary.
We must not allow disinformation to undermine our efforts to fight #coronavirus. We're delivering good outcomes for the American people and will continue to do so. I encourage all Americans to go only to trusted sources such as @CDCgov and @TravelGov for reliable information. pic.twitter.com/lV0e55ZzPI— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) March 20, 2020
A clear allegation of rumour-mongering by the United States did not go down well with China which hit back immediately reminding about US President Trump's tweet praising the Asian country. Lijian Zhao, Spokesperson & Deputy Director-General, Information Department, Foreign Ministry, China rebutted by suggesting that the US was scapegoating China and that its own house is not in order. He tweeted, ''On Jan 24, President Trump tweeted the US greatly appreciates China' efforts & transparency. On March 13, President Trump said the data China shared are helpful for US efforts against the epidemic. The US should keep its own house in order rather than scapegoat China.''
Chinese spox:— Lijian Zhao 赵立坚 (@zlj517) March 21, 2020
On Jan 24, President Trump tweeted US greatly appreciates China' efforts & transparency.
On March 13, President Trump said the data China shared are helpful for US efforts against the epidemic.
US should keep its own house in order rather than scapegoat China. pic.twitter.com/Dt7r49ROuN
In a point by point reply, the Chinese Spokesperson also rebuked the US over the allegation of ''blocking information''. ''By the logic of Pompeo, is the US blocking information by expelling 60 Chinese reporters? Are they afraid of dirt being dug up? If the US is so transparent, why not invite WHO experts to investigate how many #COVID19 cases there are among 20000 people who passed away during flu season?'', said Zhao.