China Accuses Mike Pompeo of ‘Sinister Motive’ for Calling Covid-19 ‘Wuhan Virus’
The Chinese government has responded angrily to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s insistence on calling Covid-19 the ‘Wuhan Virus’. Amid a global pandemic, Pompeo has repeatedly referred to the disease using a term the World Health Organization has advised against.
Pompeo pushed for Coronavirus to be known as Wuhan Virus during a virtual meeting of the G7 foreign ministers. This reportedly led the leading industrial nations to decline to issue a joint statement on the situation. Pompeo has been consistent in using the term.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang accused Pompeo on Thursday of trying to ‘stigmatize China and discredit China’s efforts in an attempt to divert attention and shift responsibilities.’
“He has a very sinister motive,” Geng told journalists at a briefing.
Pompeo criticized China on Wednesday and made particular reference to the fact that China is a Communist, one-party state.
“We’ve wanted to work with the Chinese Communist Party throughout this crisis — this crisis that began in Wuhan, China,” Pompeo said.
“We tried, you’ll remember, from the opening days to get our scientists, our experts on the ground there so that we could begin to assist in the global response to what began there in China, but we weren’t able to do that. The Chinese Communist Party wouldn’t permit that to happen.”
President Donald Trump and his surrogates have repeatedly insisted that terms like ‘Wuhan Virus’ and ‘China Virus’ are not racist, while the Chinese government has been particularly sensitive about its own handling of the disease.