SECRETARY of State Mike Pompeo on Tuesday accused the governments of China and Iran of censoring information about the outbreaks in their countries and putting the rest of the world at greater risk of its spread.
Similarly, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, told Congress on Tuesday that the world is not getting reliable data out of China on issues like mortality rates.
But President Donald Trump seems to be out of sync with both of his Cabinet members and other top officials, praising Chinese President Xi Jinping and his government’s handling of the outbreak even as his own administration’s response comes under fire from Republican and Democratic members of Congress.
“Had China permitted its own and foreign journalists and medical personnel to speak and investigate freely, Chinese officials and other nations would have been far better prepared to address the challenge,” Pompeo said at the State Department.
The flow of accurate information out of China, he added, is critical to assisting not just the Chinese people, but also “citizens across the world.” He called on all governments to “tell the truth about coronavirus and cooperate with international aid organizations.”
There have been 57 confirmed cases of the virus in the U.S., with three now released from hospital and no longer thought to be contagious.
The majority of those — 43 of the 57 — are Americans repatriated from the Diamond Princess cruise ship or Wuhan, China, the epicenter of the outbreak. Only 14 are individuals that either arrived in the U.S. from China and checked into a hospital or caught the virus in the U.S. from a loved one who had traveled overseas.
But officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned Tuesday that the most recent data suggests another level of virus spread globally, with cases identified in more countries now and another level of virus spread.