Secretary of State Antony Blinken recently said in an interview that the Biden administration is determined to find out the source of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) and that the United States will hold China accountable.
In an interview broadcast on Axios on HBO on June 6 regarding the traceability of the new coronavirus, Blinken noted, “The most important reason we have to get to the bottom of this is because it’s the only way we can prevent the next pandemic or at least do a better job at mitigating it.” He went on to say that China is still not “giving us the transparency we need” in terms of access to international inspectors and experts and real-time information sharing.
This has to happen,” Blinken stressed. Ultimately, it’s also very much in China’s interest to do so.” He added that if China “claims to be a responsible international actor,” it must “do everything in his power to provide all the information he has to ensure that we can hopefully prevent this from happening again.”
President Joe Biden said through a statement May 26 that he has asked the U.S. intelligence community to redouble its efforts to gather and analyze information that might bring closer to a definitive conclusion on the source of the new coronavirus and to report back to him within 90 days. Biden said the United States will continue to work with like-minded partners around the world to urge China to participate in the international investigation and to provide all relevant data and evidence.
In addition, on the issue of U.S. companies doing business in China, Blinken said in an exclusive interview, “It’s very important that these companies do not aid and abet …… China’s ability to use surveillance technologies to suppress its own people or to export those technologies to allow other authoritarian or dictatorial governments to do the same thing.” Earlier, the White House announced in a statement on the 3rd that Biden had signed an executive order placing 59 Chinese companies allegedly linked to the military or surveillance technology industry on a “blacklist” of transactions, prohibiting Americans from making investment deals with the companies on the list.