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Foreign leaders of the Group of Seven (G-7) failed to agree on a joint statement due to Secretary of State Mike Pompeorequest to refer to the novel coronavirus as the “Wuhan virus,” according to media reports.
The dispute between the leaders of the industrialized countries – Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United Kingdom – and the United States caused problems for the group, which was to meet in Pittsburgh for a summit this week, German magazine Der Spiegel reported.
The meeting was canceled in the midst of the global pandemic and the group held a videoconference instead.
“I always think at these meetings that the correct answer is to make sure that the same message comes out,” Pompeo said Wednesday at a press briefing. “I am sure that when you hear the other six foreign ministers speak, they will have a common understanding of what we have been talking about today.
“Make no mistake, everyone at this meeting this morning was very focused on the need to resolve not only the health crisis associated with the Wuhan virus, but also the economic challenges facing the world as we face it. also confront, “he said. added.
President Trump and some Republican congressional legislators have described the pandemic as the “China virus” or “Wuhan virus”, to draw attention to the Chinese city where the epidemic started in December 2019.
The term angered China and some members of Congress Democrats who argue that it has racist undertones and could fuel hatred towards Asian Americans. Public health officials and the World Health Organization have advised against naming human infectious diseases by place of origin.
At the press conference, Pompeo called for transparency in order to fight the virus.
“We wanted to work with the Chinese Communist Party throughout this crisis – this crisis that started in Wuhan, China,” said Pompeo. “We tried, you will remember, from the earliest days to get our scientists, our experts on the ground there so that we can start helping the global response to what started there in China, but we couldn’t do it. The Chinese Communist Party would not allow this to happen. “
“The Chinese Communist Party poses a significant threat to our health and our way of life, as the Wuhan virus epidemic has clearly demonstrated,” he added.
Washington has strongly criticized Beijing for engaging in a disinformation campaign to cover its role in the early stages of the crisis by hiding information about the virus and hold doctors who sounded the first alarms.
Chinese officials have promoted a conspiracy theory that the US military created the global pandemic, something its ambassador to the United States, Cui Tiankai, disowned earlier this week.