The Trump administration is continuing to turn the U.S. into a target for more fierce criticism on the world stage. Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang insisted at a press conference this week that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has a “sinister motive” for insisting upon referring to the Coronavirus as the “Wuhan virus,” after the city in China where cases of the now definitively global disease first emerged. Reportedly, Pompeo’s insistence upon that term even led the G7 group of world leaders to not issue a joint statement at all after a recent meeting, because Pompeo wanted to include the term and the others would not agree.
Wow. German media reports the G7 haven’t been able to agree on a joint statement on COVID-19 because of Pompeo’s insistence that it refer to it as the “Wuhan virus.”
The other countries “reject a label that suggests the pandemic is a Chinese problem” https://t.co/8QY83DZpFP
— Vera Bergengruen (@VeraMBergen) March 25, 2020
There is absolutely no reason for the term “Wuhan virus,” “Chinese virus,” or any related moniker. The terms help in no way to stem the virus’s spread, and neither do they represent anything about the current actual nature of the disease. It’s just racists trying to prove a point, it seems.
China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng insisted:
‘[Pompeo wants to] stigmatize China and discredit China’s efforts in an attempt to divert attention and shift responsibilities. He has a very sinister motive.’
At the same time, Geng also “defended China’s efforts at tackling the virus and denied it was seeking to place responsibility for the outbreak elsewhere,” the Associated Press reports.
Pompeo has yet to apparently acknowledge any issue with his terminology, even after the World Health Organization joined the fray of those advising against it.
On Wednesday, he railed at a press conference:
‘We’ve wanted to work with the Chinese Communist Party throughout this crisis — this crisis that began in Wuhan, China. 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.’
In mid-February, over a month ago at this point, reports emerged that a World Health Organization team of scientists would, in fact, be headed to China to assist with efforts to handle the Coronavirus outbreak. On February 28 — after those reports emerged — President Donald Trump insisted at a rally in South Carolina that concern over the Coronavirus constituted Democrats’ “new hoax.” Thus, Pompeo’s insistence that the Trump administration was valiantly trying to constrain the virus from the very beginning and was only blocked by Chinese authorities is ludicrous and does not correspond to reality.
Meanwhile, on Tuesday, Trump said in a Fox News interview that he “decided we shouldn’t make any more of a big deal out of it,” in reference to the virus’s Chinese emergence.
Nevertheless, Pompeo used the “Wuhan virus” moniker at a Wednesday press conference the following day, even though at that very same press appearance, he insisted that “this isn’t a time for blame, this is a time to solve the global problem.” It’s as if they’re completely not even trying to hide their glaring hypocrisy at this point, even as Americans and people around the world suffer.