U.S secretary critizes China’s failure on cooperating in the early stages of the virus

In a NBC's interview on Sunday, U.S secretary Anthony J. Blinken criticised China of the country's handling of the Covid-19 pandemic, saying it failed to cooperate in the early stages of the virus led to the situation's getting "out of hand."

"I think China knows that in the early stages of Covid, it didn't do what it needed to do, which was to, in real time, give access to international experts, in real time to share information, in real time to provide real transparency," he said.

China Covid-19, U.S secretary, Anthony Blinken, covid-19 pandemic, China Covid-19, U.S secretary, Anthony Blinken, covid-19 pandemic Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken at the State Department in Washington this month.Credit...Pool photo by Alexander Drago

"One result of that failure," he said, is that the coronavirus "got out of hand faster and with, I think, much more egregious results than it might otherwise."

Blinken said the pandemic has underscored the need for a global approach, with a "stronger global health security system" to prevent future pandemics or mitigate them, NBC News reported.

"That means making a real commitment to transparency — to information-sharing, to access for experts. It means strengthening the World Health Organization and reforming it so it can do that. And China has to play a part in that," he said.

The initial Covid-19 cases have been linked to a seafood market in Wuhan, China, but scientists still don't fully understand the origins of the virus. The World Health Organization said in a report last month that the virus probably started in bats and that it is "extremely unlikely" that the virus came from a laboratory leak.

Blinken said that as the U.S. and other developed countries ramp up their Covid-19 vaccinations, the U.S. has a "significant responsibility" and will be a "world leader on helping make sure that the entire world gets vaccinated."

China Covid-19, U.S secretary, Anthony Blinken, covid-19 pandemic, China Covid-19, U.S secretary, Anthony Blinken, covid-19 pandemic A file photo of US Secretary of State Antony Blinken Photograph: Reuters

"Unless and until the vast majority of people in the world are vaccinated, it's still going to be a problem for us. Because as long as the virus is replicating somewhere, it could be mutating, and then it could be coming back to hit us," he said.

"We need to do that precisely so we fully understand what happened, to have the best shot possible preventing it from happening again," he said. "That's why we need to get to the bottom of this."

When the WHO report was issued in March, the United States, the European Union and other Western countries called for China to give "full access" to independent experts to all data about the original outbreak in late 2019.

Blinken's comments about China didn't end at the virus. He also warned it in regard to Taiwan, which has long been pressured by its Chinese neighbor. Asked about the U.S. posture on tensions there, Blinken said it would "be a serious mistake for anyone to try to change the existing status quo by force" and added that "we have a serious commitment to Taiwan being able to defend itself."

He addressed questions about boycotting the 2022 Winter Olympics in China over human rights concerns, saying that the U.S. wasn't "there yet" and that the discussion wasn't a focus right now.

"This is a year or so before the Olympics. We're not focused on a boycott," he said. "What we are focused on is talking, consulting closely with our allies and partners, listening to them, listening to concerns."

U.S secretary Blinken calls for more thorough investigation of Covid origins in China

Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken on Sunday criticized the Chinese government for a lack of transparency during the pandemic, particularly during “the early stages of Covid,” and he called for a more thorough investigation of the origins of the coronavirus, according to New York Times.

A report of a joint inquiry by the World Health Organization and China published last month did not conclusively establish how or when the virus began spreading, and did little to allay Western concerns that the Chinese Communist Party bent the investigation to its advantage. Mr. Blinken, echoing those concerns, called on Beijing to make “a real commitment to transparency, to information sharing, to access for experts.”

China Covid-19, U.S secretary, Anthony Blinken, covid-19 pandemic, China Covid-19, U.S secretary, Anthony Blinken, covid-19 pandemic File photo: Medical staff at the Wuhan Red Cross Hospital in Wuhan, China (Business Standard)

The top US diplomat stated that one result of that failure is that the virus got out of hand faster and with."I think, much more egregious results than it might otherwise," he said.

"As we're dealing with COVID-19, we also have to put in place a stronger global health security system to make sure that this doesn't happen again or, if it does happen again, we're able to mitigate it, to get ahead of it. And that means making a real commitment to transparency, to information sharing, to access for experts. It means strengthening the World Health Organization and reforming it so it can do that. And China has to play a part in that," Blinken added.

When asked about whether Washington is going to guarantee to the world that we're going to get to the bottom of how this originated, the top diplomat agreed with the same and stated that "we need to get to the bottom of this", according to Business Standard.

"I think we have to, because we need to do that precisely so we fully understand what happened in order to have the best shot possible at preventing it from happening again. That's why we need to get to the bottom of this," he said.

Blinken's comments, however, illustrated the Biden administration's willingness to convey skepticism of the official narrative coming from Beijing, according to The New York Times.

Twenty-four scientists from Europe, the US, Australia and Japan issued an open letter, which was obtained by The New York Times, that analyzed steps to complete a more comprehensive investigation, as reported by The Hill.

The scientists requested a probe involving biosecurity and biosafety experts conducted either by WHO or another group of nations to study the origins of COVID-19, which was first reported in Wuhan, China, in 2019.

The WHO report determined that the possibility the virus came from a lab was "extremely unlikely," noting there was "no record" any lab had closely related viruses.

The United States, Australia, Canada, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia and Israel recently said in a statement that they "fully" supported the WHO's efforts to bring an end to the pandemic, including understanding how it "started and spread".

But they added it was "essential that we voice our shared concerns that the international expert study on the source of the SARS-CoV-2 virus was significantly delayed and lacked access to complete, original data and samples".

US Department of State Spokesperson Ned Price last week said that what is evident from Washington's review of the report is that it lacks crucial data, it lacks information, and it lacks access. "It represents a picture that is partial and, in our view, incomplete. That's not just our view. Many other countries share that view," he said during a briefing.

China has been criticised widely across the world for its role in the spread of the novel coronavirus that has infected over 135 million people across the world. More than 2.934 million people have lost their lives to the virus, as per Johns Hopkins University.

News Related

OTHER NEWS

Japanese companies to end use of Chinese drones over security concerns

Illustrative image. Source: ANI There have been concerns that drones made by Chinese companies transmit sensitive data to their manufacturers, However, the US essentially blacklisted drone maker DJI last year over national security… Read more »

Singapore extends stay-home notice, Malaysia suspends travel bubble

Passengers at Changi international airport in Singapore (Photo: AFP/VNA) Hanoi (VNA) – Singapore has decided to lengthen the stay-home notice (SHN) period for travellers from higher-risk countries or regions to 21 days, instead… Read more »

International community criticise China's new moves in East Sea

Chinese ships in the East Sea (Photo: VNA) Hanoi (VNA) – The international community has voiced protest against China’s new moves in the East Sea, including its enforcement of a fishing ban that… Read more »

Myanmar parcel bomb blast leaves five dead, one injured

Illustrative image (Photo: AFP) Hanoi (VNA) – The Myanmar media said on May 4 that five were killed and another seriously injured in a parcel bomb blast in the south of the country.… Read more »

EU condemn Russia over travel bans on Brussels officials

Diplomatic tensions have continued to rise since the start of 2021, when Moscow expelled European diplomats during an official visit by the EU’s high representative, according to Politico. European Commission Vice President Věra… Read more »

Thailand’s border trade strongly surges in Q1

Traffic at the Sadao checkpoint in Songkhla province, on the border with Malaysia (Photo: https://www.bangkokpost.com/) Bangkok (VNA) – Thailand’s border and transit trade value increased by 19.3 percent year on year to 384… Read more »

Philipines: President Duterte got first dose of Sinopharm's COVID-19 vaccine

Duterte, 76, got inoculated to protect himself from COVID-19 and encourage the public to get vaccinated, Christopher Go, a senator and his closest aide, said in a statement, according to Channel News Asia.… Read more »

Thousands of new COVID-19 cases reported in Southeast Asian countries

A man walks in Klong Toey district of Bangkok on May 2 (Photo:https://www.bangkokpost.com/) Hanoi (VNA) – The Philippines, Malaysia and Thailand on May 3 reported thousands of new COVID-19 cases, while Indonesia announced… Read more »

Indonesia names six armed terrorist groups in Papua

Police Chief Insp. Gen. Mathius D. Fakhiri in Papua, Indonesia (Photo: Antara) Jakarta (VNA) – Indonesian police have determined six armed separatist terrorist groups actively operating in Papua province’s mountainous areas, as military and… Read more »

Covid-19 in India: All arrivals from India banned from Taiwan

The variant, B.1.617, has reached at least 17 countries, from Britain and Iran to Switzerland, sparking global concern and spurring several to close their borders to people travelling from India, according to NDTV.… Read more »

Thailand considers new relief packages amid third COVID-19 wave

A deserted lounge at the Suvarnabhumi airport in Thailand’s Bangkok amid COVID-19. (Photo: AFP/VNA) Bangkok (VNA) – Thailand’s government is considering new relief packages for both individuals and businesses as a part of… Read more »

ASEAN+3 expects economic recovery with help of COVID-19 vaccine rollouts

Finance ministers and central bank governors of the ASEAN+3, which comprises ten ASEAN nations and its three partners, namely Japan, China, the Republic of Korea, hold a videoconference on May 3. (Photo: thoibaotaichinhvietnam.vn)… Read more »

World breaking news today (May 4): Bill and Melinda Gates to divorce after 27 years of marriage

Bill and Melinda Gates in 2017. (Photo: Getty Image) Bill and Melinda Gates to divorce after 27 years of marriage Bill and Melinda Gates are getting divorced after 27 years of marriage, the… Read more »

US, Japan, South Korea generals hold first meeting in Hawaii since outbreak

The joint chiefs of staff of South Korea, Japan, and the US, center left to right, addressed North Korea in their meeting in Hawaii. (Photo courtesy of Japan’s Ministry of Defense) Gen. Mark… Read more »

COVID-19 complicated in Southeast Asian nations

Many people in Vientiane capital come to centres for COVID-19 testing (Photo: VNA) Hanoi (VNA) – Laos on March 3 added 33 new COVID-19 cases in six out of 18 cities and provinces… Read more »

German newspaper analyses reasons behind Vietnam’s tourism growth

Illustrative photo (Source: VNA) Berlin (VNA) – German newswire Finanzen.net has published an article on Vietnam’s economic achievements despite COVID-19 and explaining reasons behind the nation’s tourism growth. The article said Vietnam has strongly emerged… Read more »

Geetesh Sharma - Indian friend of Vietnam passes away

Geetesh Sharma (Photo: thedailystar.net) Hanoi (VNA) – Geetesh Sharma, an Indian journalist and a close friend of Vietnam, passed away on May 2 due to COVID-19, leaving behind a deep regret in the heart… Read more »

Biden administration disclosed Trump-era rules on terrorism suspects

US Air Force (Photo: Reuters) While the Biden administration censored some passages, the visible portions show that in the Trump era, commanders in the field were given latitude to make decisions about attacks… Read more »

Covid-19 in India: Indian industry body urges to curtail economic activities to save lives

The rate of new infections dipped marginally but deaths kept climbing. Authorities reported 392,488 new cases in the previous 24 hours, pushing total cases to 19.56 million. Deaths jumped by a record 3,689,… Read more »

World breaking news today (May 3): Philippines Vows to Continue Maritime Exercises in South China Sea

A Chinese fishing vessel is anchored next to Filipino fishing boats at the disputed Scarborough Shoal April 6, 2017. (Photo: Reuters) Philippines Vows to Continue Maritime Exercises in South China Sea The Philippines… Read more »

Singapore, Malaysia postpone leaders’ annual meeting due to COVID-19

Singaporean Minister for Foreign Affairs Vivian Balakrishnan and his Malaysian counterpart Hishammuddin Hussein speaking at Singapore’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs after their meeting on May 2. (Photo: MFA, Singapore) Singapore (VNA) – Foreign ministries of… Read more »

Laos sees high jump in COVID-19 infections

Poeple wait in line for COVID-19 testing in Vientiane. (Photo: VNA) Vientiane (VNA) – Laos recorded additional 112 new COVID-19 infections in the past 12 hours on May 2, according to the Lao… Read more »

New safety concerns of Russia's Sputnik V Covid vaccine worries Brazil

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to rage across the world, the angry exchanges have raised questions about the safety of the shots and doubts about its maker’s willingness to answer them. That poses… Read more »

Covid-19 in India: Warnings of virus mutations that can "evade immune response"

However the advisers said while they were flagging the mutations, there was no reason currently to believe they were expanding or could be dangerous. Scientists are studying what led to the current surge… Read more »

World breaking news today (May 2): Biden frantic after forgetting he put mask in his pocket

Biden’s apparent panic at impending “trouble” still caused a stir online. (Photo: AP) Biden frantic after forgetting he put mask in his pocket President Biden spent 30 seconds frantically looking for a mask… Read more »

Laos, Cambodia see lesser new COVID-19 cases

A deserted street in Laos during a lockdown to curb the spread of COVID-19 (Photo: Xinhua/VNA) Vientiane (VNA) – Laos reported a decline in the daily number of new COVID-19 cases which stood at… Read more »

Malaysia pilots IATA Travel Pass

Aircraft of Malaysia Airlines at a Malaysian airport (Photo: AFP/VNA) Kuala Lumpur (VNA) – Malaysia Airlines will trial the International Air Transport Association (IATA) Travel Pass, involving passengers on flights from Kuala Lumpur… Read more »

Eight EU citizens banned from Russia in sanctions retaliation

Russia’s foreign ministry said those banned included Vera Jourova, vice president for values and transparency at the executive European Commission, David Sassoli, the president of the European parliament, and Jacques Maire, a member… Read more »

UNSC appreciates ASEAN's central role in seeking peaceful solution to Myanmar issue

Myanmar police (Photo: VNA) New York (VNA) – All member countries of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) have appreciated the central role and efforts of ASEAN in promoting the search for a… Read more »

U.S in " competition with China to win the 21st century", Biden says

Photo: Reuters “He’s deadly earnest on (China) becoming the most significant, consequential nation in the world,” Biden said of Xi. “He and others — autocrats — think that democracy can’t compete in the… Read more »

World breaking news today (May 1): Biden to restrict travel from India to US

People wait at Chhatrapati Shivaji international airport in Mumbai, India. Photograph: Anadolu Agency/Getty Images Biden to restrict travel from India to US The US will restrict travel from India starting next week, the… Read more »

UNSC convenes second in-person meeting at UN headquarters this year

Vietnamese Ambassador Dang Dinh Quy chairs the UNSC’s informal interactive dialogue on April 29 (Photo: VNA) New York (VNA) – Ambassador Dang Dinh Quy, Permanent Representative of Vietnam to the United Nations, chaired… Read more »

World breaking news today (April 30): WHO says India COVID crisis could 'happen anywhere'

(Photo: WHO) WHO says India COVID crisis could ‘happen anywhere’ The World Health Organization issued a stark warning to European nations Thursday, saying that relaxing COVID measures could spark a “perfect storm” allowing… Read more »

India Covid-19 Daily Update (April 30): India COVID cases cross 18 million

India COVID cases cross 18 million, gravediggers work round the clock Photo: Reuters India’s total COVID-19 cases passed 18 million on Thursday after another world record number of daily infections, as gravediggers worked… Read more »

Singapore’s total employment expands for first time since start of COVID-19

Singapore (VNA) – Singapore’s labour market has continued its recovery from the COVID-19 in the first three months of the year, with total employment growing for the first time since the start of… Read more »

Southeast Asian nations report large number of new COVID-19 cases

COVID-19 testing in Bangkok, Thailand (Photo: AFP/VNA) Hanoi (VNA) – Southeast Asian nations continue to report a large number of new COVID-19 cases. Thailand’s Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) on April 29… Read more »

Indonesia’s economic growth projected at 5 percent in 2022: ADB

The ADB projects Indonesian economy will return to high growth. (Photo: Antaranews.com) Jakarta (VNA) – The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has projected that the Indonesian economy will return to high growth, last seen in… Read more »

Indian COVID-19 Updates (April 29): Indians rush for vaccines as death tops 200,000

Photo: Reuters Indians rush for vaccines as COVID-19 death toll passes 200,000 The last 24 hours brought 360,960 new cases for the world’s largest single-day total, taking India’s tally of infections to nearly… Read more »

Vietnam calls for constructive dialogues to promote political process in Syria

Participants at the debate (Photo: VNA) Hanoi (VNA) – Ambassador Dang Dinh Quy, Permanent Representative of Vietnam to the United Nations (UN) has urged all parties concerned to Syria to intensify constructive dialogues… Read more »

Int’l public opinion concerned over China’s coast guard law

Vietnamese naval soldiers on duty to safeguard nation’s sacred sovereignty (Photo: baoquocte.vn) Hanoi (VNA) – International public opinion has criticized the Coast Guard Law of China, saying that China uses the law to… Read more »

World’s mammoth RCEP to benefit Singapore, regional nations

Singapore stands to gain from RCEP by being more deeply plugged into global supply chains. (Photo: straitstimes.com) Singapore (VNA) – The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), the world’s largest trade pact, will reduce… Read more »

Laos well prepares for coping with COVID-19 pandemic

Taking samples for SARS-CoV-2 testing in Vientiane (Photo: VNA) Vientiane (VNA) – The Lao government has announced that the country  basically completed the preparation of resources to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic in… Read more »

World's largest trade deal RCEP ratified in Japan

A container port in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo: AFP/VNA) Hanoi (VNA) – Japan’s parliament ratified on April 28 the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) – the world’s largest free trade deal. RCEP will create… Read more »

World breaking news today (April 28): Deadly India Covid-19 outbreak hits US Diplomatic Mission, killing two

(Photo: Yahoo News) Deadly India Covid-19 outbreak hits US Diplomatic Mission, killing two At least two local hires of the U.S. diplomatic mission to India have died and more than 100 personnel, including… Read more »

Covid-19 in India: The real number of cases might go unreported, experts say

Health workers and scientists in India have long warned that Covid-19 infections and related deaths are significantly underreported for several reasons, including poor infrastructure, human error, and low testing levels, according to CNN.… Read more »

Singapore, Malaysia reaffirm defence ties

Singaporean Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen speaks in a press conference on May 29, 2019. (Photo: APF/VNA) Singapore (VNA) – Singaporean Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen and his Malaysian counterpart Ismail Sabri Yaakob… Read more »

COVID-19 cases continue to rise in Southeast Asian countries

People wear masks against COVID-19 in Cambodia. (Photo: VNA) Hanoi (VNA) – The authorities in Cambodia’s Kampong Chhnang province on April 27 decided to temporarily impose lockdown on two villages after they found… Read more »

One dead, three injured in helicopter crash in central Philippines

The scene of a helicopter crash in the Philippines (Photo: AP) Hanoi (VNA) – A helicopter of the Philippine Air Force (PAF) crashed offshore Getafe city in Bohol province of the Philippines on… Read more »

Thousands of new COVID-19 cases reported in Southeast Asia

A woman undergoes swab test for coronavirus at GSI Lab in Cilandak, South Jakarta, Indonesia in February (Photo: https://jakartaglobe.id/) Hanoi (VNA) – Thousands of new COVID-19 infections were confirmed in Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand… Read more »

Minister: Indonesia now world’s largest biodiesel producer

Illustrative image (Photo: Indonesiainside)   Jakarta (VNA) – Indonesian Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Airlangga Hartarto said on April 26 that India is now the world’s largest biodiesel producer with a daily output of… Read more »