White House ‘disappointed’ in China’s virus transparency

Asia

WASHINGTON: The United States feels let down by a lack of transparency from China over the coronavirus crisis, a senior White House official said on Thursday (Feb 13).

“We are a little disappointed that we haven’t been invited in and we’re a little disappointed in the lack of transparency coming from the Chinese,” Larry Kudlow, the director of President Donald Trump’s Economic Council, told reporters.

Trump last week praised his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping for his government’s response to the outbreak, which has officially killed 1,367 people and infected 60,000.

READ: China transparent in coronavirus response: UN envoy

But Kudlow said that unanswered questions were mounting and there was no sign of the promised cooperation.

“President Xi assured President Trump that China was on it and there would be openness, they would accept our help,” he added.

“We’re more than willing to work with the UN (and) WHO on this and they won’t let us. I don’t know what their motives are. I do know that apparently more and more people are suffering over there.”

“Is the Politburo really being honest with us?” he asked, referring to communist China’s top leadership body.

READ: IMF chief sees ‘mild’ virus impact on global economy

Kudlow predicted that the economic impact would be “quite minimal” for the United States, but said that fears over the coronavirus were creating “uncertainty.”

“If we don’t get good information out of China, it’s very hard for us to make a decent assessment,” he said.

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