China accuses Pompeo of telling lie after lie on coronavirus origin
BEIJING: China said yesterday it supports the World Health Organisation (WHO) in trying to pinpoint the origins of the Covid-19 pandemic and accused US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo of telling one lie after another in his attacks on Beijing.
The virus has killed more than 255,000 people worldwide, including more than 70,000 in the US, since it was first identified in the central Chinese city of Wuhan in December.
Mr Pompeo accused China of withholding samples he said were needed for global vaccine research, and he demanded transparency.
Most experts believe Covid-19 originated in a market selling wildlife and jumped from animals to people, but Mr Pompeo and US President Donald Trump have said it came from a laboratory, without elaborating.
Mr Pompeo also accused the WHO of being too slow to respond to the disease and said it "needs to still demand that there be an investigation" in China.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hua Chunying, addressing reporters in Beijing yesterday, said China supported WHO efforts to investigate the origin of the pandemic.
On Mr Pompeo's accusations, she said: "Where is his proof? Show us the proof. If he cannot show any evidence, then he may still be in the process of making up this evidence."
The WHO has called earlier comments about a possible laboratory source by Mr Pompeo "speculative".
Ms Hua said Mr Pompeo had contradicted himself in interviews about the virus. "The reason why he contradicts himself is because he is always making up a lie to cover up another lie. This is an open secret."
Ms Hua said the only enemy was the virus. "Faced with this mankind battle against the virus, China should be (a) US comrade in arms, not enemy." - REUTERS