Leaders around the world are coming together to address the coronavirus. Yet, when Group of Seven (G-7) members wanted to prepare a statement regarding COVID-19 they were hindered because U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo tried to pressure them into referring to the illness as the "Wuhan virus."
Per German magazine Der Spiegel, G-7 leaders have been repeatedly rejecting Pompeo's proposals to call the coronavirus the "Wuhan virus." When asked about the report during a media availability teleconference, Pompeo didn't deny the accusations. Actually, he appeared to stand by his comments and allude to the moniker as an attempt to blame the Chinese Communist Party for the virus.
"We’ve wanted to work with the Chinese Communist Party throughout this crisis — this crisis that began in Wuhan, China," Pompeo said per The Hill. "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."
President Trump and other Republican lawmakers have been referring to COVID-19 as the "Chinese Virus" or other names that implicate the country. Earlier this month, reports surfaced claiming that White House officials were calling the coronavirus the "Kung Flu." This angered Asian-Americans who feel Trump is promoting coronavirus-related xenophobia. Yet even though the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization have advised against calling the coronavirus by its city/country of origin, Pompeo feels like calling it the "Wuhan virus" details the "threat" China has posed to America.
"The Chinese Communist Party poses a substantial threat to our health and way of life, as the Wuhan virus outbreak clearly has demonstrated," Pompeo said.