Chinese officials said on Monday that the United States has offered ‘no concrete help’ in dealing with the coronavirus outbreak, directly contradicting U.S. health officials who said last week that they have been offering to send disease experts to help for weeks.
The People’s Daily, China’s largest daily newspaper and an official organ of the ruling communist party’s central committee, reported on Monday that a spokesman for the foreign ministry had said the U.S. had not offered help and instead spread “created chaos and fear.”
The US has so far offered no concrete help to China to fight #CoronavirusOutbreak but created chaos and spread fear by being the first to withdraw consulate staff from Wuhan, and the first to announce restrictions on Chinese citizens’ entry to the country: FM spokesperson pic.twitter.com/etlduWx5M9
— People’s Daily, China (@PDChina) February 3, 2020
That amounts to an accusation that U.S. officials were lying when they said at a press conference last week that they had been trying to get China to accept aid in the form of U.S. health experts for several weeks but China had yet to consent.
“CDC experts are standing by, ready willing and able to go immediately to China, either on a bilateral basis or under the auspices of the World Health Organization,” U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said. “This is a major public health issue and we basically just need the best public health people we have in the world working on this.”
U.S. personnel could aid China in answering critical public health questions about how the virus spreads, its incubation period, and if it can be spread by those not yet showing symptoms, CDC Director Robert Redfield said.
“We are urging China: more cooperation and transparency are the most important steps you can take toward a more effective response,” Azar said.
Leading U.S. China expert Gordon Chang urged the U.S. to respond “vigorously” to what he described as “propaganda” from the Chinese government.
#China with these outrageous statements is creating justification for lashing out at the #US. Unless we move vigorously now, this propaganda will have severe consequences for America and Americans. https://t.co/5f8K47rFcf
— Gordon G. Chang (@GordonGChang) February 3, 2020