Chinese state media hit back at the U.S. on Monday, accusing President Donald Trump’s administration of trying to divert attention from its own “incompetence” with allegations about the spread of the novel coronavirus.
The commentary in the Global Times newspaper, published under the auspices of the Chinese Communist Party’s People’s Daily, dismissed as “groundless” allegations that China had covered up the scale of coronavirus outbreak.
It said U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s claim that intelligence agencies were following up “significant” evidence that the virus came from a laboratory in the Chinese city of Wuhan was “bluffing.”
“The truth is that Pompeo does not have any evidence. If Washington has solid evidence, then it should let research institutes and scientists examine and verify it.
“The U.S. government’s goal was to blame China for the pandemic as well as to manipulate public opinion and to avoid being accused of “pandemic malfeasance,” the paper said.
It added that the ultimate goal of President Trump now was to win election and gain a second term in November.
Meanwhile, Canadian media have reported the Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, as saying that it is “too early to draw firm conclusions,” about the theory that the coronavirus originated in a Chinese laboratory.
Canada is a member of the Five Eyes intelligence alliance with the U.S., the UK, Australia and New Zealand.
Scientists consider it more likely the virus was transmitted to humans from bats via another animal.
The U.S. intelligence community last week concluded that the virus was not man-made.