Pompeo continues to insist that the virus came from a laboratory in Wuhan, even though he has yet to present evidence for this incendiary claim, and has ignored scientists who say the virus is from the wild, the opinion piece in the state operated China daily argued.
A China-bashing #coronavirus jester?# Beijing tears into #Pompeo’s ‘clown show’ — RT World News https://t.co/IPrieTpnF9
— Dakoda (@Dakoda_1022) May 6, 2020
China Daily took aim at Mike Pompeo, US secretary of state, slamming the top American diplomat for ‘bad-mouthing’ China and the World Health Organization (WHO) instead of seeking global cooperation and solidarity to overcome the Covid-19 pandemic.
China Daily noted that the secretary of state has also been curiously silent about the fact that Beijing has been the “main provider” of surgical masks, ventilators, and other essential medical equipment to the US.
The editorial argued that Pompeo is playing a dangerous political game that will end up hurting the United States.
In a difficult situation such as the one, we all face now, Pompeo’s clown show is simply self-harming for the US. It is the solidarity that is desperately needed to fight this common enemy, not a stand-up ‘comedy routine’.
The paper also ran a cartoon showing Pompeo, outfitted as a jester, juggling “lies” as he tries to distract media attention from rising coronavirus cases in the US.
The biting commentary piece comes after the Global Times newspaper – an outlet owned by the Chinese Communist Party – published an editorial dismissing Pompeo’s attacks on Beijing as “groundless accusations.”
Read more: Scapegoating China: Pompeo finds evidence of virus origin
Pompeo’s theories have also been met with suspicion within the intelligence community. The Guardian reported that sources connected to the Five Eyes intelligence network – consisting of spy agencies from the UK, US, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada – believe there is no evidence linking China to the creation and spread of Covid-19.
Pompeo ‘bad mouthing’ over virus origin
Earlier, the US Secretary of State has continuously reiterated that coronavirus originated in China.
Pompeo’s claims, made in an interview with ABC’s This Week, represented an escalation in rhetoric. He had previously said the US was looking into the possibility the virus came from a lab in Wuhan, China.
On Sunday, Pompeo said: “There is enormous evidence that that’s where this began,” later adding: “I can tell you that there is a significant amount of evidence that this came from that laboratory in Wuhan.”
Pompeo said early Chinese efforts to downplay the coronavirus amounted to "a classic Communist disinformation effort. That created enormous risk." https://t.co/CIXCv33mpn
— Rappler (@rapplerdotcom) May 4, 2020
At one point, the secretary of state appeared confused over whether he was claiming the Sars-CoV-2 virus (which causes the Covid-19 disease) was deliberately engineered or escaped as the result of a lab accident.
“Look, the best experts so far seem to think it was manmade. I have no reason to disbelieve that at this point,” he said.
But when he was reminded that US intelligence had issued a formal statement noting the opposite – that the scientific consensus was that the virus was not manmade or genetically modified – Pompeo replied: “That’s right. I agree with that.”
Read more: Virus blame-game: Pompeo says China knew about coronavirus in November
Donald Trump made a similar unsupported claim on Thursday, saying he was privy to evidence of the pandemic that began in a Chinese lab but was not permitted to share it.
On the same day, Pompeo told a radio interviewer: “We don’t know if it came from the Wuhan Institute of Virology. We don’t know if it emanated from the wet market or yet some other place. We don’t know those answers.”
By Sunday afternoon, according to researchers at Johns Hopkins University, the US had confirmed 1,134,507 coronavirus cases and more than 66,000 deaths. Worldwide, there had been nearly 3.5m cases confirmed and more than 245,000 people had died.
Beset by criticism of its response to the outbreak and management of the ensuing public health crisis, the Trump administration has sought to focus blame on China.
Read more: China must allow inspection of sensitive labs; demands Mike Pompeo
Most epidemiologists say that while it is possible the outbreak started in the Wuhan Institute of Virology, where coronaviruses have been intensively studied, it is a far less likely scenario than the theory that it was transmitted naturally from bats through an intermediary animal, mutating along the way to become dangerous to humans.
The Chinese Government and the World Health Organization has revoked all these claims and framed these accusations as baseless. If this trend continues, it will badly alter the already aggrieved US-China relations.
RT with additional input from GVS News Desk.