Pompeo, G-7 foreign ministers spar over ‘Wuhan virus’

European officials said Pompeo had insisted that the COVID-19 virus be identified as the “Wuhan virus”, despite the fact that the World Health Organization and others, because of its global nature, had warned against giving it a geographical name. In recent weeks, Pompeo has intensified the use of the “Wuhan virus” and accused China of having endangered the world by not disclosing any further details about the outbreak that was first reported in the city of Wuhan.

Until recently, President Donald Trump had often referred to the novel corona virus as the “China virus” or “Chinese virus”, but since the beginning of this week he has turned away from these terms as critics have said they promote discriminatory feelings and behaviors against Asians and asian Americans.

In a solo press conference after the meeting, Pompeo again referred to the “Wuhan virus” and said it was “the most pressing agenda item”. He said all foreign ministers were “committed to fighting for transparency as is needed around the world”. He did not deny that there were disagreements about what the virus was called, but said that all ministers had recognized that China had not released its details early and was now trying to postpone the narrative.

“Each of the nations that attended this meeting this morning was very aware of the Chinese Communist Party’s disinformation campaign to try to deviate from what really happened here,” said Pompeo.

Other foreign ministers were far from emphatic in their own comments on the meeting, with at least one leaving open the suggestion that China is not the only country trying to use the outbreak to advance policy issues.

French Foreign Minister Yves Le Drian said in a statement that he “underlined the need to fight any attempt to exploit the crisis for political purposes and expressed the view that unity for combating the pandemic effectively must prevail over everyone else Considerations. “

The disagreement about virus terminology was first reported in the German publication Der Spiegel. German officials said they were more concerned about what would come from a virtual summit of the group of 20 nations leaders to take place on Thursday at Saudi Arabia’s request.

Meanwhile, US officials have downplayed disagreements between foreign ministers, referring to Tuesday’s G7 finance minister’s statement that neither Wuhan nor China mentioned the virus and instead repeatedly referred to as COVID. 19 virus.

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