Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar on Thursday, Jan. 14, highlighted the mistrust of the Chinese Communist Party’s treatment of the CCP Virus (COVID-19) pandemic and recounted the steps taken by the federal government to deal with the crisis.

According to Fox News, during a virtual session with the Heritage Foundation, Azar noted that the genetic sequence of SARS-CoV-2 was not made public until Jan. 9, 2020, 10 days after the virus was reported in the media and possibly two months after its appearance was actually known.

“We learned about an outbreak of pneumonia of unknown origin in Wuhan, China, on December 30, not through that country’s official channels, as required under the international health regulations, but through media monitoring that we do, as well as through a notification from Taiwan’s Economic and Cultural office here in the United States,” said Azar.

“Being able to investigate the virus in January would’ve helped the United States and the world develop a science and data-driven response,” Azar said. He added, “Instead we were flying blind, with human-to-human transmission of the virus not officially confirmed until Jan. 20.”

Azar admitted that while they were reporting what they knew about the outbreak to the American people, mistrust of the reports issued by the CCP was not diminished. 

“The reports from the China suggested that the virus probably emerged there in November, and their explanation of the outbreak did not make sense,” Azar said.

According to Azar, the United States was denied the opportunity to know the country where the CCP virus probably originated, and he acknowledged that at first the administration’s praise of China sought cooperation, indicating that U.S. officials were also pressing in private.

He questioned the CCP’s role in refusing U.S. assistance to mitigate the virus, as well as the lack of compliance in helping the United States understand more about it.

“Our teams were also pushing for the Chinese government to send us viral isolates from patients there. And China still, a year later, has not provided the first-generation viral isolates,” Azar said, as reported by the Washington Examiner.

Last Tuesday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said, we still don’t know the answer “to the origin of the virus exactly” because the “Chinese Communist Party has now, for over a year, refused to allow anybody to get access to the information they need to figure that out.”

Azar criticized the response of the World Health Organization by continuing to praise China. Azar said, “Unfortunately the WHO never made the shift we did, continuing to lavish praise onto China even to this day.”

He also questioned whether even after the WHO authorized an investigation last year into the origins of the virus through a resolution, researchers were allowed into China only this week.

Azar said WHO researchers would likely analyze reports given by Chinese scientists, adding, “This flawed scope of investigation is the result of months of negotiations over last summer and into the fall, between WHO and China, with no input from the WHO executive board.”

According to the official, if a crisis of such magnitude had occurred in a democratic country, a global outbreak could have been prevented, referring to the deliberate measures taken by the Chinese Communist Party.