Pompeo questions China's coronavirus information: 'We need to understand what has taken place'

Communist China, WHO responsible for coronavirus pandemic: Pompeo

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo discusses holding China accountable and obtaining credible information on the origin of coronavirus.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Friday that the Trump administration is demanding answers from China after the nation raised the number of coronavirus deaths in Wuhan by nearly 50 percent earlier in the day.

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Officials changed the city's 1,290-person COVID-19 death count to 3,869 on Friday, highlighting questions surrounding the validity of China's reporting on virus cases in the country. Chinese state media said “belated, missed and mistaken reporting occurred" because medical facilities in the country were overwhelmed at the peak of the outbreak, hence the sudden spike.

"What this administration has consistently done, with respect to the Chinese Communist Party, is demand they behave in a way that's consistent with international norms," Pompeo told "Mornings with Maria."

The change in Wuhan's death count also came after Fox News reported that the virus outbreak likely originated in a Wuhan laboratory not as a bioweapon but as a way for China to prove its efforts to identify and combat viruses are equal to or greater than the capabilities of the U.S., according to multiple sources who were briefed on China's actions.

The virus outbreak is an example of how the country is not being consistent with international norms by withholding information and data related to COVID-19 from the rest of the world before it became a pandemic, Pompeo said.

"This authoritarian regime had information, had data. It's very clear now that the Chinese Communist Party and the World Health Organization didn't put that information out into the international space as they're required to do in a timely fashion. And the result of that is that we now have this global pandemic. We're still suffering that today," he said.

Pompeo added that the administration is "still trying" to get China to allow experts into the lab where it is believed the virus originated.

"This is about science and epidemiology," he said. "We need to understand what has taken place so that we can reduce risk to Americans in the days and weeks and months ahead and get the global economy back on track. It's very important."

The secretary of state also related China's failure to be transparent to Chinese telecom giant Huawei and the security concerns the U.S. has with the company. The administration put Huawei on a blacklist called the Entity List, which prohibits American companies from doing business with the Chinese firm.

Pompeo also said the U.S. supply chain shouldn't be dependent on any other country.

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