“Because Pompeo said his claim was supported by ‘very large evidence,’ he had to present this so-called evidence to the world, and especially to the American public he constantly tried to fool,” the editorial said.
“The truth is that Pompeo has no proof, and during Sunday’s interview he bluffed.”
CNN contacted the Chinese foreign ministry to comment on Pompeo’s claims, but received no response. The country is on a five-day vacation that lasts until Tuesday.
But critics accuse Washington of increasing efforts to blame China for the global spread of the virus because it faces increasing criticism at home for its own handling of the pandemic. To date, the US has recorded more than 1.1 million cases and at least 67,000 Covid-19 related deaths.
Beijing retaliated with its own propaganda efforts, accusing the US of redirecting mistakes and dismissing accusations of deliberate accusations at a critical early stage.
“They only have one goal: to try to avoid responsibility for epidemic actions and their own prevention and control and to divert public attention,” he said.
On Monday, the Global Times editorial accused the White House of continuing to “engage in an unprecedented propaganda war while trying to block global efforts in combating the Covid-19 pandemic.”
“While the US presidential election campaign is underway, the Trump administration has implemented a strategy designed to divert attention from the inability displayed in combating a pandemic. It is clear that their aim is to blame China for the pandemic by showing the country as a Covid-19 source,” he said.
The origin of the virus
Coronavirus has infected more than 3.5 million people worldwide, with at least 247,000 dead. The United States accounts for nearly one third of global confirmed cases and more than a quarter of the deaths.
Pompeo’s statement follows US President Donald Trump’s statement on Thursday that he had seen evidence giving him “a high level of confidence” that the virus originated from a laboratory in Wuhan. Trump refused to provide details to support his statement.
Scientists in China and the West have pointed to research indicating that the virus may have originated from bats and jumped on humans from intermediary hosts – such as its cousin that caused the SARS epidemic in 2002 and 2003.
Asked on Sunday about that conclusion, Pompeo said he “had no reason not to trust” the intelligence community, despite previous comments in the same interview that “the best experts so far thought it was man-made. I have no reason not to believe that at currently.”
So far, Chinese officials and state media have largely avoided directly addressing Trump in his coverage. In contrast, much of Beijing’s anger has been directed at Pompeo – and former White House strategy chief Steve Bannon, who does not hold his current position in government.
Last week, the broadcaster managed by the CGTN government accused Pompeo of turning his “back on humanity by spreading political viruses.” The Chinese Communist Party’s official mouthpiece, People’s Daily, also said in an editorial that Pompeo’s rhetoric would give the United States a “huge moral deficit.”
On Monday, the Global Times said Pompeo “enjoyed a solo performance that failed to comply with the expected professional standards for a major diplomat,” and accused him of losing his “moral compass.”