China accuses US of spreading virus fears

China is accusing the U.S. of spreading fears about a deadly coronavirus instead of offering any substantial assistance.

Foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said the U.S.’s actions — proposing a partial withdrawal of its staff and implementing a ban on Chinese travelers, the first country to do so —helped catalyze public fear about the virus, Reuters reported.

“All it has done could only create and spread fear, which is a bad example,” Hua said.

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“It is precisely developed countries like the United States with strong epidemic prevention capabilities and facilities that have taken the lead in imposing excessive restrictions contrary to WHO recommendations,” Hua added, according to the news service.

The U.S. began evacuations on Jan. 28. The World Health Organization (WHO) officially declared a global emergency two days later, and the State Department later raised the travel advisory for China to the highest level.

The Trump administration then announced a public health emergency because of the virus — as well as imposing its ban on foreign nationals who have traveled to China in the last 14 days entering the U.S.

The novel coronavirus, which originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan, has spread to more than 20 countries and territories with more than 17,000 confirmed cases. The first reports of a person dying outside of China, in the Philippines, came out Sunday. Approximately 360 people have died in China.

A total of 11 cases have now been confirmed in the U.S., CBS News reported.