Pompeo: China 'did all that it could to make sure the world didn't learn in a timely fashion' about coronavirus

Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoSchumer slams Trump's Rose Garden briefing on China as 'pathetic' Britain mulls pathway to citizenship for more than 3M inhabitants of Hong Kong Overnight Defense: Democrats expand probe into State IG's firing | House schedules late June votes with defense bill on deck | New Navy secretary sworn in MORE said Sunday that the Chinese government did everything it could “to make sure the world didn’t learn in a timely fashion” about the coronavirus that has sparked a global pandemic. 

Pompeo told ABC’s “This Week” that the Communist Party of China engaged in a “classic Communist disinformation effort” by silencing medical professionals and removing reporters to limit the spread of information on the virus. He said these moves “created enormous risk” and harmed hundreds of thousands of people worldwide. 

“We can confirm that the Chinese Communist Party did all that it could to make sure that the world didn't learn in a timely fashion about what was taking place,” he said.

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President TrumpDonald John TrumpMichael Flynn transcripts reveal plenty except crime or collusion 50 people arrested in Minneapolis as hundreds more National Guard troops deployed Missouri state lawmaker sparks backlash by tweeting 'looters deserve to be shot' MORE has been very clear. We're going to hold those responsible accountable, and we'll do so on a timeline that is our own,” he added. 

The secretary of state also said there is there is “enormous evidence” the novel coronavirus originated in a lab in Wuhan.

He said information on the virus would have been publicized sooner if it had been discovered in the U.S.

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“Instead, China behaved like authoritarian regimes do, attempted to conceal and hide and confuse,” he said, adding “these are the kind of things that have now presented this enormous crisis, an enormous loss of life and tremendous economic cost, all across the globe.”

The Trump administration has blamed China for its delayed response to the coronavirus, saying the country did not provide accurate information quickly enough.

Reports from China indicate that doctors who warned about the coronavirus early on were punished. Reporters from The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal were banned from the country last month.