Commentary on Political Economy

Monday 12 April 2021


China’s lack of transparency made pandemic worse, says top U.S. diplomat

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A security official moves journalists away from the Wuhan Institute of Virology after a World Health Organization team arrived for a field visit in Wuhan in China's Hubei province on Feb. 3. (Ng Han Guan/AP)

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China’s refusal to cooperate with international experts at the start of the pandemic helped worsen the global spread of the virus, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Sunday.

In an interview with NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Blinken renewed U.S. calls for greater transparency from China over covid-19’s origins, saying that Beijing’s early handling of the virus meant that it “got out of hand faster and with, I think, much more egregious results than it might otherwise.”

“I think China knows that in the early stages of covid, it didn’t do what it needed to do, which was to in real time give access to international experts, in real time to share information, in real time to provide real transparency,” he said. The Biden administration has been critical of a joint China-World Health Organization study of the pandemic’s beginnings, saying that it has “deep concerns” about the way in which the investigation is being carried out.

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