Update (1240ET): CCP mouthpiece Hu Xijin, editor-in-chief of the state-owned Global Times responded to Pompeo's comments, challenging him to present the "enormous evidence" that COVID-19 originated in the Wuhan Institute of Virology "to the world."
"By demanding to investigate Wuhan lab, they are trying to create continuous controversy and focus, to fool the American public," he added.
Don’t just say there’s enormous evidence, Pompeo should present them to the world. Republican government is putting on a show. By demanding to investigate Wuhan lab, they are trying to create continuous controversy and focus, to fool the American public. pic.twitter.com/YJcKaLqsg9— Hu Xijin 胡锡进 (@HuXijin_GT) May 3, 2020
* * *
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says there's "enormous evidence" that the coronavirus originated in the Wuhan Institute of Virology, while agreeing with the intelligence community's determination that the disease is "not manmade or genetically modified."
Speaking with ABC's "This Week" Sunday, Pompeo said:
Martha, there's enormous evidence that that's where this began. We have said from the beginning, this virus originated in Wuhan, China. We took a lot of grief for that from the outset. But I think the whole world can see now. Remember, China has a history of infecting the world and they have a history of running sub-standard laboratories. These aren't the first times that we have had the world exposed to viruses as a result of failures from a Chinese lab.
Responding to a question over whether China should suffer consequences for their handling of the outbreak, Pompeo said that the Chinese Communist Party "did all that it could to make sure the world didn’t learn in a timely fashion," adding that "It was a classic communist disinformation effort."
NEW: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo tells @MarthaRaddatz China “did all that it could to make sure the world didn’t learn in a timely fashion” about COVID-19.— ABC News (@ABC) May 3, 2020
"It was a classic communist disinformation effort," he adds and they will be held "accountable." https://t.co/sLSKoZFK1N pic.twitter.com/TFoPQ2Um09
Pompeo's comments echoed the overall tone coming from the Trump administration, which has ratcheted up criticism of Beijing last week while demanding answers about the origin of COVID-19.
On Friday, President Trump tweeted that NBC and CNN are "Chinese puppets" who do business there, while his PAC released ads critical of the regime.
Concast (@NBCNews) and Fake News @CNN are going out of their way to say GREAT things about China. They are Chinese puppets who want to do business there. They use USA airwaves to help China. The Enemy of the People!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 1, 2020