Pompeo urges China to enter Wuhan laboratories in the event of coronavirus epidemic

Pompeo urges China to enter Wuhan laboratories in the event of coronavirus epidemic

United States State Secretary Mike Pompeo pressed China again on Wednesday to provide world with access to its virology laboratories in Wuhan, saying the world needed to understand how the COVID-19 epidemic originally came there, and that Beijing had a responsibility to be translucent.

Relations between the U.s and China have worsened dramatically since the outbreak of the coronavirus epidemic, which has now killed more than 200,000 people worldwide after occurring late last year in the Chinese town of Wuhan.

Washington and Beijing traded insults and charges over the dealing of the epidemic, with Pompeo saying last week that the U.s "strongly believed" that China failed to report the epidemic on time and then hidden how dangerous the respiratory disease caused by the virus was.

“We still haven’t gained access, the world hasn’t gained access to the WIV (Wuhan Institute of Virology) there. We don’t know precisely where this virus originated from,” Pompeo informed a State Department news conference and added that U.S. worries about Chinese laboratory health persisted.

“There are multiple labs that are continuing to conduct work, we think, on contagious pathogens inside of China today and we don’t know if they are operating at a level of security to prevent this from happening again,” Pompeo said.

“The Chinese Communist Party tells us they want to be our partners. ... There is a continuing obligation on the part of reliable partners to share this information,” he added.

On April 15, President Donald Trump said his government was investigating whether the coronavirus epidemic started in a lab in Wuhan, where the virus was developed. In reality, those allegations have no basis, the laboratory head told Reuters on Tuesday.

This month, an opinion article in the Washington Post said the United States In 2018 the State Department warned at a Wuhan lab about security and management vulnerabilities in diplomatic cables.

Most scientists now believe the current coronavirus emerged from humans, citing bats and pangolins as potential host species.

Yuan Zhiming, a director at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, also dismissed theories that the laboratory mistakenly leaked a coronavirus which it had collected for scientific purposes from bats.

Image: U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks at a news conference at the State Department, in Washington, U.S., April 29, 2020.