Pompeo calls for China to give the world access to Wuhan labs

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday again called on Beijing to give the world access to its virology labs in Wuhan, a target in the growing blame game between the U.S. and China over the pandemic.

Pompeo said the world needed to understand how the COVID-19 pandemic originated there and that China had an obligation to be transparent.

"We need partners we can rely on that when they tell us something is accurate and then we don't think they're hiding anything. But we still haven't gained access. The world hasn't gained access to the WIV (Wuhan Virology Institute) there. We don't know precisely where this virus originated from," he said.

Pompeo last week saying U.S. “strongly believed” China failed to report the outbreak in a timely manner and then covered up how dangerous the respiratory illness caused by the virus was.

“There are multiple labs that are continuing to conduct work, we think, on contagious pathogens inside of China today and we don’t know if they are operating at a level of security to prevent this from happening again,” Pompeo said.

President Donald Trump on April 15 said that Washington was investigating whether the coronavirus outbreak originated in a laboratory in Wuhan.  Newsweek reported that the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency updated its assessment to reflect the possibility that the new coronavirus emerged "accidentally" due to "unsafe laboratory practices."

“There are multiple labs that are continuing to conduct work, we think, on contagious pathogens inside of China today and we don’t know if they are operating at a level of security to prevent this from happening again,” Pompeo said.

On Wednesday, Beijing's state media declared that "the U.S. government has failed its people and the world," adding that "Chinese people won't allow their country to suffer vast infections like the US."