On CNN Friday, correspondent David Culver reported that Chinese state media have focused on Secretary of State Mike Pompeo as a scapegoat for the U.S. coronavirus failure, and for the propagation of the theory that the virus originated in a Chinese research laboratory.
"They are are very strategic in their criticisms, much like President Trump has been in not going directly after President Xi Jinping, instead calling out China as a whole," said Culver. "For China's part, through its state media, it is going not after President Trump, but after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo."
"This week, a near daily CCTV commentary attacks Pompeo for calling out China's mishandling of the coronavirus," said Culver. "One saying he is turning himself into the 'enemy of humankind' by 'spreading a political virus.' On Thursday, the People's Daily, the official newspaper for China's Communist Party, ran an editorial saying Pompeo's rhetoric makes the U.S. look like it's dealing with a 'colossal moral deficit.' Government-controlled Xinhua tweeted an animation portraying the U.S. as hypocritical. In the shadows of the coronavirus outbreak, the war of words is creating a deepening rift between the U.S. and China."