Pompeo Pushes G7 Foreign Ministers To Use ‘Wuhan Virus’ In Communique, Media Outlets Report; Group Does Not Release Joint Statement

ABC: Pompeo pushes ‘Wuhan virus’ label to counter Chinese disinformation
“President Donald Trump said he no longer needs to refer to the novel coronavirus as the ‘Chinese virus,’ but his top diplomat is continuing to tie the outbreak to the Chinese city where it first exploded, as a way to push back on what he called the Chinese Communist Party’s ‘disinformation campaign’…” (Finnegan, 3/25).

AFP: Pompeo attacks Chinese virus campaign at G7 as Europeans seek cooperation
“U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Wednesday that the Group of Seven powers were united in opposing China’s coronavirus ‘disinformation,’ but European allies emphasized cooperation to fight the global pandemic. Foreign ministers from the major industrialized democracies spoke about the crisis by videoconference, scrapping a meeting scheduled in Pittsburgh, but any hope of showing a common front was eroded by the absence of a joint statement…” (Tandon, 3/26).

AP: G-7 foreign ministers spar over coronavirus amid pandemic
“…U.S. and European diplomats said the ministers were unable to agree on Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s call for the virus to be identified by name as the ‘Wuhan virus.’ As a result, just a day after G-7 finance ministers and central bankers issued a joint communique referring to the COVID-19 virus, the foreign ministers opted against releasing a group statement. U.S, officials pointed to Tuesday’s finance ministers’ statement to reject suggestions of G-7 disunity and said the foreign ministers had never intended to release their own communique…” (Lee, 3/25).

The Hill: Pompeo pressed G-7 leaders to refer to ‘Wuhan virus’ in statement: report
“…When asked about the report at a media availability teleconference, Pompeo, who repeatedly referred to the coronavirus as the ‘Wuhan virus,’ did not deny the reports. Pompeo appeared to double-down on his rhetoric in an attempt to hold the Chinese Communist Party accountable for its handling of the virus. ‘We’ve wanted to work with the Chinese Communist Party throughout this crisis — this crisis that began in Wuhan, China,’ Pompeo said. ‘We tried, you’ll remember, from the opening days to get our scientists, our experts on the ground there so that we could begin to assist in the global response to what began there in China, but we weren’t able to do that. The Chinese Communist Party wouldn’t permit that to happen.’ ‘The Chinese Communist Party poses a substantial threat to our health and way of life, as the Wuhan virus outbreak clearly has demonstrated,’ Pompeo added…” (Moreno, 3/25).

Reuters: Pompeo says G7 discussed China’s coronavirus ‘disinformation’
“…He said now was not the time to apportion blame, but to focus on ways to resolve the crisis, which was what the G7 nations concentrated on in their meeting. ‘But every one of the nations that was at that meeting this morning was deeply aware of the disinformation campaign that the Chinese Communist Party is engaged in to try and deflect from what has really taken place here,’ Pompeo added” (Mohammed et al., 3/25).

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