Ex-NSC aide: China wasn't transparent on coronavirus

A former aide to the National Security Council (NSC) said Wednesday that China was not transparent on the coronavirus, which is believed to have originated in the country in December. 

Gen. Robert Spalding, the former senior director for strategy at NSC, told Hill.TV that it was “terrible” that China wasn’t “transparent and open about what happened with the coronavirus.” 

“It’s not just terrible for coronavirus but it’s also terrible for the next potentially global pandemic that might come across,” he said. 

The general commended the U.S. government for “finally starting to understand the implications of our supply chain, not just the health ramifications, but the ramifications to our economy and our national security” from the outbreak.

He also predicted that the Defense Department will start bringing encouraging the return of manufacturing to the U.S., which he said is “huge for the U.S. economy and the American people.” 

Spalding mentioned concerns that almost all medicines have ingredients that come from China, saying the U.S. doesn’t have its “own supply chains for medicines.”

“That’s incredibly damaging not just for our national security but also the health of Americans,” he said.

The first cases of coronavirus were identified in Wuhan, China last December and have since spread worldwide to infect more than 94,000 people. More than 3,200 people have died from the virus, according to data from Johns Hopkins University

The U.S. has confirmed 138 cases, with nine deaths in Washington state. 

The coronavirus outbreak has caused the stock market to plummet, although the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose more than 500 points on Wednesday after former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenNew Biden campaign ad jabs at Trump's reported 0 income tax payments Biden campaign sells 'I paid more income taxes than Trump' stickers Trump, Biden have one debate goal: Don't lose MORE’s wins on Super Tuesday.