Secretary of State Antony Blinken needs to stress to Chinese officials, during their upcoming meeting in Alaska, that the United States holds the communist nation "accountable" for the COVID-19 pandemic and the pain it has caused worldwide, his predecessor Mike Pompeo said Thursday.
"They inflicted enormous loss of life here in the United States and enormous devastation and wealth creation across the world," said Pompeo on Fox News' "America's Newsroom." "People are still suffering from this. I think the United States has a responsibility to make clear to the Chinese Communist Party they must be held accountable. We still don't know the answers to precisely where this virus came from. They know and they need to share it with the world."
Pompeo's comments came on the one-year anniversary of the World Health Organization's declaration of the COVID-19 pandemic, and he said that even though the United States was learning about the disease and its growing spread at that time, the Chinese government knew about its dangers "weeks and weeks and weeks before one year ago today.
"We know with near certainty this came from Wuhan and there is substantial evidence of what was taking place inside of that laboratory," Pompeo said, referring to the Wuhan Institute of Virology, where bat coronaviruses were being studied.
"We know secondly there are a set of facts," said Pompeo. "I released a fact sheet. There are certain facts that make it indicative it came out of this laboratory through what was likely an accidental leak."
The Chinese Communist Party, he added, would not let anyone into the lab, and "they disappeared journalists, made doctors who knew what happened to go away. That cover-up itself is a crime and the fact that they won't let the world know precisely where this came from, when they most assuredly knew, is a strong indication it came from a place like the lab that they don't want the world to know about."
Pompeo added that it is "great" that Blinken is meeting with the Chinese officials, but he urged the Biden administration to maintain the tough stance on China that the Trump administration did.
"The Chinese Communist Party didn't give an inch," he said. "We didn't give an inch and we imposed a real cost on the Chinese Communist Party. I hope this administration is prepared to do that, too."
Pompeo also discussed the growing border situation, calling it a "calamity" for people who are being trafficked and for Americans who are suffering from drugs that will "flow across the border" as a result of President Joe Biden abandoning policies set in place by former President Donald Trump.
"We had in place a set of policies that were humane, decent, and protected American sovereignty," he said. "We sure as heck knew who was coming into our country and we had a set of policies that reduced the flow and the trafficking of these people across the border. "
He added that children are being transported by "coyotes," or smugglers, that are preying on them and their families to make money, and accused the Biden administration's policies of having "incentivized" that to happen.
"If you're a mother of one of these children or father, you can see why they would want to try to find a better life for their people," he said. "I'm sympathetic to that. We all are. We did good work in the Trump administration and tried to help people down there, tried to help those governments be more successful."
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