The Chinese continue to conduct disease research in their laboratories like they did before the COVID-19 pandemic, so the United States has a responsibility to demand that the Chinese Communist Party disclose what it knows about the deadly virus and its beginnings, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Monday.
"The Chinese Communist Party knows what happened here and where it began," Pompeo, now a Fox News contributor, said on "America's Newsroom." "This is dangerous. We could end up with something much like this again being set up on the world."
His comments come after a previously undisclosed U.S. intelligence report revealed over the weekend that three researchers from China's Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) sought hospital care in November 2019, months before China disclosed the COVID-19 outbreak.
Pompeo pointed out that he, other members of the Trump administration, and conservatives were warning about the likelihood that the novel coronavirus had come from a Chinese lab.
"We spent a lot of time working on this problem, and in January, we were able to declassify a lot of material I knew about much earlier," he added. "It was outrageous to see scientists, even government, U.S. government scientists denying this when they have surely must have seen the same information I saw. That includes Dr. [Anthony] Fauci as well. We need to know what happened here."
Pompeo said that eventually there will be a straight answer about how the pandemic started, but it won't come soon enough.
"Somebody will have worked in that laboratory and decide they can sneak out of China and tell the truth, I'm convinced," he said. "Sadly, I don't think it will happen in a timely fashion."
Meanwhile, he slammed the Biden administration's moves to rejoin the World Health Organization "that rewards the Chinese," in a reversal of former President Donald Trump's policy.
"They colluded to keep this information out of the hands of the world," Pompeo said. "There are many things the United States government could do to impose real costs on the Chinese Communist Party until they come clean. We know they covered up this virus. I'm confident we'll find the evidence consistent with a lab leak and that's what we'll see. If I'm wrong I hope the Chinese Communist Party will come forward and make a fool out of me."
Pompeo recalled that in early January 2020, the then-administration was working "so hard" to get information "when we were trying to figure out what was about to hit the world."
"The Chinese Communist Party had gone completely dark," Pompeo said. "They wouldn't take phone calls or answer our questions. We sent inquiries. We couldn't get a straight answer. Our ambassador couldn't get a straight answer."
He added that China's government "knew they had the problem and didn't want the world to know it. They still have a problem and they still don't want us to know it."
The former secretary of state also commented on reports about the forced diversion of a Ryanair plane to Belarus and the detention of an opposition journalist who was on board.
There are "lots of things" the Biden administration can do in response, Pompeo said, but there are also other entities like the European Union and NATO that could take "real action to impose costs on the Belarus leadership that demanded this."
"It is outrageous to pull a commercial airplane out of the air just to get your hands around the journalist," Pompeo said. "This wasn't like there was a terrorist on the plane or an immediate threat to anybody on the airplane. It was an effort to get at someone who was going to say something they didn't like."
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