China is engaged in a disinformation campaign to shift its responsibility in the spread of the coronavirus, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has alleged.
"Now is not the time for recrimination. Now is the time to solve this global pandemic and work to take down risks to Americans and people all across the world," he told reporters on Tuesday.
Asked about the Chinese allegation that the US army planted the coronavirus in Wuhan province of China, Pompeo said, "The disinformation campaign (on coronavirus) that they are waging is designed to shift responsibility."
"There will come a day when we will go evaluate how the entire world responded. We know that the first government to be aware of the 'Wuhan virus' was the Chinese government. That imposes a special responsibility to raise the flag to say, 'We have a problem, this is different and unique and presents risk'," he added.
It took an "awful long time" for the world to become aware of this risk that was sitting there in China, the top American diplomat said.
"We'll do the after-action when the time is right. Every nation has a responsibility to share all of their data, all of their information in as timely and accurate a fashion as they have the ability to do not only because it is the right thing to do, but because that is how you save lives for your own people as well," he said.
Pompeo added that the Chinese Communist Party had a responsibility to do this not only for Americans, Italians, South Koreans and Iranians who are now suffering, but for their own people as well.