US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on May 20 launched a fresh attack at China calling Beijing's contributions in fighting the pandemic 'paltry' compared to the cost that they have imposed on the world. Pompeo estimated the global expenses incurred due to the outbreak and failures of the Chinese Communist Party to be as much as around $9 trillion, which he says is way more than what China has promised in the form of aid at the World Health Assembly.
"The United States has responded with about $10 billion to benefit the international response – everything from vaccine research to funding for preparedness efforts and humanitarian aid. That’s compared to a promise of $2 billion from the Chinese. I look forward to seeing them fulfill that $2 billion commitment," Pompeo said at a press briefing on May 20.
Pompeo also dismissed China's claim that Beijing has acted with transparency in its response to the coronavirus outbreak. "President Xi claimed this week that China has acted “with openness, transparency, and responsibility.” I wish it were so. It’s been 142 days since doctors at Wuhan Central Hospital first started sharing information about a SARS-like virus," Pompeo said referring to Chinese President Xi Jinping's remarks at the World Health Assembly.
Tensions between China and the United States are at an all-time high with US President Donald Trump and his administration claiming that the novel coronavirus is a man-made disease and it emerged at a virology laboratory in Wuhan. Health experts have long said that they believe the virus originated at a seafood market in Wuhan, where exotic animals were reportedly being traded illegally. China on the other hand has claimed that there is no evidence to suggest that the virus originated at a seafood market and they are yet to establish where actually the disease emerged.
(Image Credit: AP)