The Trump administration is demanding answers from China on the novel coronavirus, as it's "very clear now" that the Chinese Communist Party and the World Health Organization did not release information as it is required to do, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Friday.
"This authoritarian regime had information, had data," Pompeo told Fox Business' Maria Bartiromo. "It's very clear now that the Chinese Communist Party and the World Health Organization didn't put that information out into the international space as they're required to do in a timely fashion. And the result of that is that we now have this global pandemic. We're still suffering that today."
His comments come after Chinese officials changed the number of coronavirus deaths in Wuhan, the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic on Friday to add nearly 1,300 fatalities, pushing China's total to 4,632 deaths, and raising Wuhan's toll by 50% to 3,869 deaths.
Chinese state media blamed the difference on "belated, missed, and mistaken reporting."
Pompeo told Bartiromo it is "completely appropriate" that the world asks the right questions about the coronavirus and said President Donald Trump is frustrated with the WHO because it is tasked to protect the world from what is happening today.
"[We] need answers and data," said Pompeo. "The Chinese Communist Party needs to come clean about what took place ... it is time for accountability, to attribute what happened and who did what so we can move on from an incident that destroyed so much wealth not only here in the United States but across the world."
Pompeo said the Trump administration has consistently demanded from China that it behaves in a way that's "consistent with international norms."
The administration is still trying to enter a lab in Wuhan where it's believed the virus originated, Pompeo added.
"This is about science and epidemiology," he said. "We need to understand what has taken place so that we can reduce risk to Americans in the days and weeks and months ahead and get the global economy back on track. It's very important."
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