Pompeo: The Chinese Will ‘Hold Their Leaders Responsible’ For Failing Them
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo attacked U.S. rivals China and Iran on Tuesday for mishandling the COVID-19 outbreak, suggesting that people in these countries will hold their leaders responsible for the failures in preventing and treating the coronavirus, according to Newsweek.
“I think the people in those countries know this. I think the people in those countries will ultimately hold their leaders responsible for this. And I think this, too, is why this disinformation campaign is taking place. They want to try and deflect responsibility from the poor decisions that those leaders undertook.” Pompeo said on the conservative Washington Watch show.
U.S.-China relations worsened along with the outbreak of coronavirus in the U.S., as China pushed a conspiracy theory about the American military spreading the virus to Wuhan, and U.S. officials such as Trump and Pompeo publicly called the disease the “Chinese Virus” or “Wuhan Virus”.
The Trump administration’s refusal to remove sanctions on Iran also harmed Iran in its efforts to fight the coronavirus, which has caused more than 1,100 deaths there.
Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif accused the U.S. of hampering its ability to address the crisis, saying “we are now learning how to better confront it — sadly a huge part of the danger Iranians face is due to restrictions unjustly imposed on them by the United States government.”
Pompeo said attacks on other countries by China and Iran were a means “to deflect responsibility.”
However, China and Iran also accused Trump, Pompeo and other government figures of spreading misinformation and deflecting responsibility for the coronavirus crisis.
Trump and his administration initially tried to deemphasize the danger of coronavirus, as the president called the concern about the virus a Democratic “hoax.”
After declaring a national emergency and appearing to take the threat more seriously, Trump has gone on to promote unverified treatment options for the virus and argued for Easter as a reopen date for the social distancing restrictions, despite warnings from public health officials that this would be too soon.