The United States and China on Friday took their growing clash over the coronavirus pandemic to social media, with Beijing telling Secretary of State Mike Pompeo he was “lying through (his) teeth.”
In an interview on Fox News, Pompeo said Beijing “wasted valuable days” after identifying the novel coronavirus by letting “hundreds of thousands” leave the epicenter of Wuhan to places including Italy, which has surpassed China as the country with the highest death toll.
“The Chinese Communist Party didn’t get it right and put countless lives at risk as a result of that,” Pompeo said.
Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying voiced anger on Twitter, writing in English: “Stop lying through your teeth!”
“As WHO experts said, China’s efforts averted hundreds of thousands of infection cases,” she tweeted.
She said that China first told the United States of the novel coronavirus outbreak on January 3, with the State Department alerting Americans in Wuhan on January 15.
“And now blame China for delay? Seriously?” she wrote.
State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus replied: “By Jan. 3, Chinese authorities had already ordered #COVID19 virus samples destroyed, silenced Wuhan doctors, and censored public concerns online.”
Hua “is right: This is a timeline the world must absolutely scrutinize,” Ortagus tweeted.
Already tense relations between the two powers have worsened over the pandemic, which China has appeared to bring under control but has severely disrupted life in much of the world and infected more than 10,000 people globally.
The United States last week summoned the Chinese ambassador after another foreign ministry spokesman tweeted an unfounded conspiracy theory that the US military brought the virus to Wuhan.
President Donald Trump in turn has angered Beijing by insisting on referring to SARS-CoV-2 as the “Chinese virus,” a terminology discouraged by the World Health Organization.
© 2020 AFP
BUSTED: Key Trump aide caught pushing racist vigilantism on social media
Video of a chainsaw-wielding Texas man threatening protesters while shouting the n-word went viral on Friday.
While many people were shocked by the video, one of President Donald Trump's top advisors supported the racism and vigilantism in documented in the video, according to a new report.
"President Donald Trump and his allies for years have amplified racist messages on Twitter while simultaneously reaching out to black and Hispanic voters, a dissonant balancing act that’s now rocking the GOP amid nationwide racial-justice protests," Politico reported Saturday. "The two competing forces collided Saturday on the Twitter feed of Trump campaign senior adviser Mercedes Schlapp, when she boosted a tweet that lauded a man in Texas in a viral video as he yelled the n-word and wielded a chainsaw to chase away anti-racism demonstrators."
Trump may ‘fatally wound’ his reelection by snubbing North Carolina: CNN analyst
President Donald Trump risks alienating voters in the key swing state of North Carolina if he moves his RNC convention speech to another state, political analyst James C. Moore explained for CNN.
"Of all the institutions the Trump presidency is harming, it's likely no one suspected the Republican National Convention might be one of them. But President Donald Trump's refusal to fully acknowledge the risks associated with the pandemic is creating a new political threat to his own candidacy," he wrote. "The Republican National Convention was slated to take place in Charlotte, North Carolina, in August. But the pandemic struck, and the governor has insisted on a scaled down event with safety precautions that include social distancing and face masks. The President, who wants his huddled masses shoulder to shoulder as they shout their acclimations, is now looking to deliver his convention speech in another city."
Military leaders need to ‘speak truth to power’ — or resign: Former NSC official
Military leaders may be forced to resign to protect America from President Donald Trump, a former National Security Council official warned.
Col. Jeff McCausland (US Army, ret.) explained his thinking in a new analysis piece for NBC News.
"On Monday, riot police supported by both National Guard troops and other federal agencies rousted peaceful protesters from Lafayette Square so President Donald Trump could walk to St. John’s Episcopal Church for a photo op. Trump’s understanding of the protesters — and their anger with America’s longstanding problems with racism and police brutality — appears exceedingly limited," he wrote. "He described himself as 'your president of law and order' and warned that the nation was 'gripped by professional anarchists, violent mobs, or, arsonists, looters, criminals.'”