The remarks on Jan. 26 followed shortly after President Joe Biden signed the memo that condemns rising racism, xenophobia, and intolerance against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States.
“The Federal Government must recognize that it has played a role in furthering these xenophobic sentiments through the actions of political leaders, including references to the COVID-19 pandemic by the geographic location of its origin,” the document states.
“Such statements have stoked unfounded fears and perpetuated stigma about Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and have contributed to increasing rates of bullying, harassment, and hate crimes against AAPI persons.”
“I’ve called it the ‘Wuhan virus’ almost ever since its inception,” Pompeo said during an appearance on “Fox News Primetime,” emphasizing the importance of recognizing where the virus first emerged. It’s common to name a virus after its place of origin.
“It began in Wuhan. It is, in fact, a virus that came from that place. We know that the Chinese Communist Party covered that up. We know that they disappeared doctors and journalists who wanted to write about it and were told they couldn’t,” Pompeo said.
“These are important things,” he added. "The American people need to know them because they matter. They matter for our health, for our safety, for economic prosperity, and for our security, and I hope and I’m counting on this next administration to do what the American people demand of them and continue to confront the Chinese Communist Party.”
CCP officials in early December 2019 knew that the virus had appeared in Wuhan, but sat on the information for six weeks. They arrested those who tried to warn of the danger, accusing them of spreading “rumors,” and employed the regime’s rigorous censorship system to prevent media coverage and to delete any mentions of it from social media.
“This virus has now destroyed thousands and thousands and thousands of lives,” Pompeo continued. “Economic toll that is unequaled in an awfully long time, and it began in a place—Wuhan, China—and the CCP did everything it could to give itself the time to respond to it on its own terms, and it didn’t do what it was supposed to do.”
“It [CCP] had a duty to the world to let us know that this [COVID-19] indeed had human-to-human transmission and that it had begun, that this threat had begun. That was enormously costly to the American people and those are facts, so yes, I hope this administration and everyone in the world will acknowledge where it began and how the CCP misbehaved,” he added.
“We have to put in place processes to make sure that something like this can never emanate from China again.”