Administration takes the right position blaming CCP for pandemic

J Michael Waller / Center for Security Policy / March 25, 2020 – The Trump Administration is taking precisely the right position on placing blame on the Chinese Communist Party for the new coronavirus pandemic. As the virus spread around the world from Wuhan, China, the CCP began an aggressive disinformation and propaganda campaign to blame the United States, Italy, and other countries.

This is a historic moment. The Trump Administration is the first since President Ronald Reagan to mount an aggressive defense against foreign state sponsors of destructive disinformation and propaganda and to call them out by name.

In a March 24 interview with radio host Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo placed everything in its proper context and hinted at further US action. Here are the highlights:

  • ‘Chinese Communist Party covered this up and delayed its response.’“this virus began in Wuhan, China.  There’s no doubt about where it began.  Indeed, the Chinese Communist Party itself acknowledged that that’s where the virus began.  And unfortunately, the Chinese Communist Party covered this up and delayed its response in a way that has truly put thousands of lives at risk.”
  • CCP’s delay in information sharing harmed slowing the disease. “every day, every week matters in terms of how this information is transmitted around the world.  That is, when you share this information, the best scientists around the world can begin to work on it.  You can start all the processes, not only vaccines and things that mitigate, but you can begin to put in place the things that will cause the spread to be decreased.”
  • CCP actions ‘put all of us around the world’ at ‘unnecessary risk.’ “And it’s multiplicative, and so every day that the Chinese Communist Party sat on this information and didn’t do the right thing, and instead punished doctors who were attempting to alert the world about what was taking place there in Wuhan, increased the number of people who would be exposed, and thereby put all of us all around the world – and the Chinese people as well – put them at unnecessary risk, too.”
  • Will comment later on World Health Organization responsibility. Secretary Pompeo chose not to answer about the role that the United Nations’ World Health Organization played in pushing CCP propaganda, but hinted that he might address it later. Here’s the dialogue between Perkins and Pompeo:
    • Perkins: “… you may not want to go here, but I certainly want to make this statement, because the World Health Organization really played cover-up for China, basically going along with the Chinese line, and that was troubling to me.  This is an organization that’s supposed to be looking out for the global health, but yet they were buying the line that China was feeding, the cover-up and misinformation.”
    • Pompeo: “When we go back and look at this, we will, I think, all find out who was transparent, who was straightforward in the course of this moving forward.”
  • ‘The cover-up effort continues.’ “We can see – and you referred to this earlier – the cover-up effort continues; the disinformation campaign from Russia and Iran as well as China continues.  They’re talking about it coming from the U.S. Army and they’re saying maybe it began in Italy, all things to deflect responsibility.”
  • ‘The time will come for recriminations.’ “And while the time will come for recriminations, we’ve got to work our way forward.”
  • Every country must be transparent. “It’s still important to have transparency even today.  This is an ongoing global crisis, and we need to make sure that every country today is being transparent sharing what’s really going on, so that the global community, the global health care, infectious disease community can begin to work on this in a holistic way.”
  • Chinese Communist Party is still covering up and pushing disinformation. “My concern is that this cover-up, this disinformation that the Chinese Communist Party is engaged in, is still denying the world the information it needs so that we can prevent further cases or something like this from recurring again.”
  • Chinese Communist Party ‘created’ this ‘global instability.’ “The importance of transparency to human health and the global instability that is created when you have a Chinese Communist Party behaving in the way that it did is really a risky thing.  And we can all see that now; we can see it coming into play.”
  • CCP disinformation harms the people of ChinaHere, Pompeo takes on the purported outrage of progressive pundits and the CCP who call the administration racist for having used terms like “Wuhan Virus” and “China Virus.”Says Pompeo,”The people most harmed by Chinese disinformation, the fact that they covered this up early, were the people of Wuhan and Hubei, China.”
  • Iran regime has harmed its own people by embracing CCP. “Similarly, today in Iran, the people who are most harmed by Iran’s failure to acknowledge the problem and to accept the fact that they – fact that they allowed Chinese flights to continue to come into the country from Tehran when they knew they shouldn’t have, but they didn’t want to upset their Chinese friends, the people most harmed by that are their own people.”
  • People of China and Iran will hold their leaders responsible. “I think the people in those countries know this.  I think the people in those countries will ultimately hold their leaders responsible for this.”
  • CCP and Iran leaders are disinforming in order to save themselves. “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.”
  • CCP’s actions have exposed America’s supply-chain vulnerability. “President Trump, from the beginning of our administration, made clear that the trade relationship with China was fundamentally unfair, it wasn’t reciprocal.”
    • “I think you can see that some of the supply chain challenges that we’ve had are a result of the fact that companies were operating their supply chains out of China but not here in the United States.  I think that’s part and parcel of the reciprocity that the President demanded.”
    • “So I do think as we wind our way out of the coronavirus issue, as we wind our way through this, I think we’ll have to make some very important decisions about exactly how these relationships ought to be structured.”
  • Sympathy for Chinese people, not Chinese Communist Party. “We want the Chinese people to be successful.  We – I am saddened by all of the deaths that took place in China.  These are tragic things.  We don’t mean ill towards any of them.”
  • Important to get US relationship with China ‘right.’ “. . . it’s fundamentally the case that we have to make sure that we do right by the American people, that we get this relationship not only with China but with every country right, so that we can ensure that we do right to protect and keep safe the American people the way President Trump committed to do.”
  • ‘Nailed it’ – Big difference between Chinese people & CCP. Pompeo stresses that the United States makes a sharp distinction between the Chinese people and the CCP. He draws the same distinction between the Iranian people and the Islamic Republic of Iran. Here’s the dialogue between Perkins and the secretary:
    • Perkins: “Well, there’s also – it’s important to draw the line of distinction between the Chinese Communist party, that regime, and the Chinese people.  The same thing in Iran.  It is – the people are not being represented by their governments in the way that most of them would like to see their international relationships.”
    • Pompeo: “Tony, I think you nailed it.  As I said, the people most harmed by this failure in leadership during this difficult time are the people of their own countries.  It has now spread across to the world.  But transparency and good governance, and the fundamental things that we do here in the United States that says we’re going to treat every human being with the dignity and respect that they deserve because of the fact that they are God-made, those are things that fundamentally separate us from regimes like that in the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Chinese Communist Party.”

See full text of interview here.