Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Tuesday, March 17, said the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), which silenced early reports of the CCP Virus and then downplayed the seriousness of it, bears responsibility for allowing it to become a global pandemic. 

“It took an awful long time for the world to become aware of this risk that was sitting there residing inside of China,” Pompeo told reporters at the State Department media briefing. 

“Every nation has a responsibility to share all of their data, all of their information in as timely and accurate a fashion as they have the ability to do, not only because it’s the right thing to do, but because that’s how you save lives for your own people as well,” he added. “The Chinese Communist Party had a responsibility to do this not only for Americans and Italians and South Koreans and Iranians who are now suffering but for their own people as well.”

The CCP punished the doctor who tried to sound an early alarm of a new medical threat as early as December and silenced or imprisoned several individuals who reported on the CCP Virus. More recently, Chinese diplomats have repeatedly promoted conspiracy theories that the U.S. Army brought the virus to China.

“Look, the disinformation campaign that they are waging is designed to shift responsibility,” Pompeo said. “Now is not the time for recrimination. Now is the time to solve this global pandemic and work to take down risk to Americans and people all across the world.”

President Donald Trump, who has said the pandemic was caused by a “foreign virus,” started to call it “China virus” and scolded the CCP for promoting propaganda about its origins.

“That can’t happen. It’s not gonna happen. Not as long as I’m president. It comes from China,” he asserted. 

Lea Gabrielle, director of the State Department’s Global Engagement Center, which is charged with countering foreign disinformation on Sunday said that the CCP is “engaged in an all-out aggressive campaign to try to reshape the global narrative around the coronavirus, essentially to the degree of trying to provide an alternate reality of what has actually happened since December,” according to the Washington Times

The CCP’s propaganda efforts have “caused us to have to react with a full-spectrum activation of our own public messaging and diplomatic engagement, and really just having to push access to fact-based information by our own communicators so they’re able to counter these false narratives with local audiences,” she added.

Michael Pillsbury, Hudson Institute Director of Chinese Strategy, said the CCP was using disinformation techniques learned from the Soviet Union during the Cold War, which included a false report uncovered by U.S. officials claiming that the U.S. Army created AIDS.

“There’s a social science theory that if you get your story out first, you get that first impression,” Pillsbury said on Fox News. “That’s what the Chinese seem to be doing.”