Odishatv Bureau

New Delhi/Washington: Beijing has denied permission to American scientists to visit Wuhan Institute of Virology or any other part of China to investigate the origin of the novel coronavirus.

US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo revealed this on Wednesday while speaking to Fox News about why greater transparency from the  Xi Jinping government was required.

"Even today, the Chinese government hasn't permitted American scientists to go into China, to go into not only the Wuhan lab but wherever it needs to go to learn about this virus, to learn about its origins," Pompeo told the news channel.

Reiterating that the Trump administration has information about it, he said, "Look, we know it began at onea, but we need to figure this out. There's an ongoing pandemic. We still don't have the transparency and openness we need in China."

Also Read: Trump Suspends Issuing Of New Green Cards For 60 Days

"It is the World Health Organization's (WHO) responsibility to achieve that transparency. They're not doing it. They need to be held accountable," Pompeo said adding, that it has been "great to see other countries around the world to begin to recognize the WHO failures as well."

The US secretary of state said the WHO needs structural changes including stepping down of its chief Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. "Or even more than that. It may be the case that the United States can never return to underwriting, having U.S. taxpayer dollars go to the WHO. We may need to behave even bolder change than that," he said.

'This Was An Attack, This Wasn't The Flu'- Donald Trump

Meanwhile, US President Donald Trump said that the US "had no choice" but to pour trillions of dollars into fighting the coronavirus pandemic, adding that "this was an attack... this wasn't the flu".

"This was an attack. This wasn't just... This wasn't the flu, by the way," The Hill news website quoted Trump as saying on Wednesday at a White House press briefing, despite comparing COVID-19 to seasonal influenza before the outbreak reached pandemic proportions.

"Nobody's ever seen anything like this," he added.

Trump's comments come as the House prepares to pass more than $300 billion in further coronavirus economic rescue and medical response funding and Democrats push for another massive stimulus bill.

Trump and Congress have already approved more than $2.2 trillion in economic relief to counter more than 22 million job losses caused by the pandemic and the efforts to slow it.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin also said on Wednesday that the US must be willing "to spend what it takes to win the war" despite concerns about the $24 trillion national debt, according to The Hill news report.

Also Read: Coronavirus Will Be With Us For A Long Time: WHO Chief

As of Thursday, the US has reported 842,376 confirmed coronavirus cases in the world, with 46,785 deaths, both figures are currently the highest in the world.

(IANS)

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