US Secretary of State Antony Blinken says Washington needs to delve deeper into the origins of COVID-19 and hold China accountable.
“The most important reason we have to get to the bottom of this is that’s the only way we’re going to be able to prevent the next pandemic or at least do a better job in mitigating it,” Blinken said in an Axios interview aired on HBO on Sunday.
Blinken said the administration of US President Joe Biden is determined to “get to the bottom” of the origins of the novel coronavirus. According to the US state secretary, China has not “given us the transparency we need” and needs to be held accountable.
Blinken called on China to make available all information relating to the pandemic and allow full access for international inspectors.
“At the end of the day, it’s profoundly in China’s interest to do this, as well,” Blinken told Axios.
Speaking at the Saturday GOP convention in North Carolina, former US President Donald Trump blamed the coronavirus pandemic on China, saying that Beijing should pay all other countries a compensation of $10 trillion minimum.
Trump also accused the Biden administration of blocking a thorough investigation of the origins of the coronavirus.
Biden recently ordered the US intelligence community to produce a report re-examining the origins of the novel coronavirus and to help determine whether the disease leaked from a lab or spread from an infected animal to a human.
China continues to call the laboratory-leak theory a conspiracy.