The U.S. State Department called on China to be more transparent about the current COVID-19 outbreak and origins of the virus, hitting back at a Chinese official who called travel restrictions “unacceptable” on Tuesday.
“If the [People’s Republic of China] wants to see countries do away with various requirements that have been put in place, there’s a way to help bring that about and that is with additional transparency,”
“Long before this COVID surge in the PRC, we have consistently called for additional transparency from the PRC regarding COVID, including in the context of COVID origins,” Price added. “We think it is profoundly in the world’s interest, but it’s also profoundly in the PRC’s interest that they do so as well.”
China relaxed its “zero-COVID” strategy last month amid nationwide protests and surging cases, but health officials around the world have expressed skepticism about official data coming out of the country.
Marion Koopmans, a Dutch virologist who sits on a World Health Organization committee that met with Chinese officials on Tuesday, told Reuters that the numbers China has released are “not very credible.”
“We want to see a more realistic picture of what is actually going on,” Koopmans told the new outlet.
At least a dozen countries, including the U.S., Canada, Japan, South Korea, the United Kingdom, and Italy, have placed restrictions on travel from China.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning criticized the restrictions on Tuesday, saying that they lack “scientific basis.”
“We firmly reject using COVID measures for political purposes and will take corresponding measures in response to varying situations based on the principle of reciprocity,” she told reporters.
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