Top White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow criticized Chinese leaders for their lack of transparency over coronavirus crisis, which has surpassed all previous outbreaks, amid a 15th case of the virus confirmed in the United States.
Speaking to reporters in Washington on Thursday, Feb. 13, Kudlow said the United States feels let down as Beijing is not giving Washington access to help and he questioned China’s motives, the AFP reported.
“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, these numbers are jumping around. … There was some surprise,” said Kudlow, director of the National Economic Council.
Kudlow said there are unanswered questions and no sign of cooperation as well, though China’s leader Xi Jingping has assured President Donald Trump that Beijing was on it and “they would accept our help.”
“We’re more than willing to work with the U.N.’s WHO (World Health Organization) 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,” Kudlow said.
“Is the Politburo really being honest with us?” he asked, referring to China’s top leadership body.
The White House adviser lashed out at China’s response to the coronavirus outbreak as the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported a 15th confirmed case of the deadly virus in the United States on Thursday.
According to Reuters, the new patient is among the Americans evacuated from Wuhan—the epicenter of the health emergency in China—and placed under quarantine at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas.
The Trump administration has evacuated about 800 people from Hubei Province, where Wuhan is the capital, placing them under a federal 14-day quarantine at U.S. military bases.
The coronavirus pandemic has killed nearly 1,400 people and infected more than 64,400 people worldwide as of early Friday, most of them in China.
However, the real numbers may be much higher because Chinese government officials are reportedly downplaying the severity of coronavirus and tightly controlled information related to the pandemic in order to hide their weaknesses and save face as they often did in response to past outbreaks.
Kudlow also raised doubts about the number of coronavirus victims in China, saying, “If we don’t get good information out of China, it’s very hard for us to make a decent assessment.”