Steps must be taken now to hold China accountable for blocking news about the threat of the novel coronavirus last December because the next pandemic coming from there "could be far more deadly, far more contagious, than novel coronavirus," foreign affairs expert and China expert Gordon Chang said Monday.
"There are things that we can do to impose on China but we have not done them yet, and no one really wants to do those things because they would be extraordinary, but the coronavirus is not the last pathogen to be generated from Chinese soil," Chang told Fox News' "America's Newsroom."
His comments were in response to an extensive The New York Times/Pro Publica report published over the weekend outlining the extent of China's propaganda and censorship campaign.
"The Chinese leaders are thinking they can deliver a spread of another disease," Chang added. "That is what they did for five weeks; they try to tell the world this was not contagious and at the same time, they leaned on countries to accept arrivals from China while they were also locking down their own country."
When that is all put together, "you come to some pretty ghastly conclusions," he said.
He added had China not been censoring information, the world would have known about the deadly virus in December and could have taken steps to stop the spread of the disease.
"There were at least five weeks when the Chinese leaders knew this disease was highly contagious ... this did not need to be a global pandemic," Chang said.
China's government has "always censored" information coming out of the country, but its move to block news about the severity of the novel coronavirus included "creating disinformation to distract people," Chang said.
"They did this not only in China, but they did this externally," Chang said. "For instance, on March 12, the foreign ministry went on a Twitter storm. What they did is they blamed the United States. They suggested the U.S. Army brought the disease to the epicenter (in Wuhan). So we know Chinese efforts were greater than they ever have been in the past."
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