Pompeo: US Experts Need ‘Accurate, Transparent’ Virus Data From China, Italy, Iran

By Patrick Goodenough | March 31, 2020 | 3:26am EDT
Dr. Deborah Birx and Dr. Anthony Fauci alongside President Trump at a White House coronavirus briefing on Sunday. (Photo by Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images)
Dr. Deborah Birx and Dr. Anthony Fauci alongside President Trump at a White House coronavirus briefing on Sunday. (Photo by Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images)

(CNSNews.com) – U.S. medical experts modeling how the COVID-19 pandemic may play out need data, especially from such hard-hit countries as China, Italy and Iran, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Monday night.

“When you hear Doctors Fauci and Birx talk about risk, talk about fatalities, trying to think about how to model, what they need is data,” Pompeo told Fox News’ Sean Hannity, referring to Anthony Fauci, director of the NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and White House coronavirus taskforce coordinator Deborah Birx.

“They need data from Italy. They need data from China. They need data from Iran,” he said. “We need every country to step up and provide accurate, transparent information.”

“And if we can’t have that, if we have disinformation instead, there are more lives that will be at risk, not only today but in the weeks ahead as we battle this enormous challenge.”

Pompeo said the U.S. has asked every country to share what they know, to enable the world to learn how best to deal with the pandemic.

“America will then turn around and we will share the information we get, and we’ll keep people safe not only here in the United States but all across the world.”

The U.S. and China have been at loggerheads over Beijing’s efforts to change the narrative around the outbreak of SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

Pompeo and others have accused the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) of a deliberate campaign of disinformation.

The State Department’s Global Engagement Center has been tracking it, monitoring what GEC coordinator Lea Gabrielle on Friday called “malign disinformation to falsely blame the U.S. as the origin of the coronavirus,” as well as an effort to highlight the CCP’s “supremacy” in handling the crisis.

For their part, Chinese officials and state media have lashed out at President Trump, Pompeo, and others for using terms such as the “Wuhan” or “Chinese” coronavirus to underline the fact that the Chinese city of Wuhan is where it first emerged late last year.

Hannity asked Pompeo about that: “A lot has been made over calling it the ‘Wuhan’ virus, and you took issue with anybody saying – sorry, we do that with a lot of other illnesses.”

“President Trump was very clear, I think he even said it again this morning,” Pompeo replied. “He’s talked about it as being the ‘Chinese’ coronavirus.”

“But what we’ve been looking for here all along is we simply want to make sure we understand what’s happened, so that we can prevent the loss of life moving forward.”

“We’re looking to cooperate with every country,” he stressed. “We’d love to cooperate with the Chinese as well, to get the right information so that we can do all that’s needed to find therapeutics, to find a vaccine, to do everything we can to reduce the risk that there will be more lives lost as the world moves forward.”

With the number of Americans tested for the disease now exceeding one million, as of early Tuesday, the United States continues to report more confirmed cases of COVID-19 than any other country, more than 164,000.

According to the real-time database of the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University, the U.S. was reporting 2,978 deaths.

Italy is reporting more than 101,000 cases, and 11,591 deaths; China more than 82,000 cases and 3,308 deaths; and Spain more than 88,000 cases and 7,716 deaths.

Iran was reporting more than 41,000 cases, and 2,757 deaths. The exiled opposition group National Council of Resistance of Iran claimed Monday that, according to its sources across the country, the actual death toll in Iran now exceeds 14,200 deaths.


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