US Summons Chinese Ambassador For Spreading COVID-19 Conspiracy Theory

He urged the United States to be transparent and make its data public, and added that it owes China an explanation. "U.S. owe us an explanation", tweeted Zhao, who is known for his provocative statements on social media. Lijian's statement comes after USA lawmakers have accused China of hiding information about the outbreak, which is now a pandemic, according to the World Health Organization.

As of 1700 GMT on Friday, more than 5,300 people have died around the world and more than 140,000 infected.

Zhao has taken to Twitter in the past to angrily counter global criticism of China's handling of Uighurs.

Asked about O'Brien's comments, Geng told a daily news briefing in Beijing on that such remarks by USA officials would not help US epidemic efforts.

The coronavirus has since spread globally, with new cases rising rapidly, but its progress in China has slowed in the past seven days.

The Chinese authorities credit firm measures they took in January and February, including a near-total shutdown of Hubei, for preventing outbreaks in other cities on the scale of Wuhan and slowing the spread overseas.

Sen. Rick Scott To Self-Quarantine Following Potential Coronavirus Exposure
Doug Collins (R-Ga.), Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), and Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) also went into quarantine after attending the conference. Local newspaper Estado de S.Paulo reported that Bolsonaro has been tested for coronavirus, with results expected on Friday.

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks at a news conference about the ongoing global coronavirus pandemic in the Rose garden at the White House March 13, 2020 in Washington, DC. With American officials terming the deadly virus as "Wuhan virus", Beijing deflected the blame of being the epicentre and try to reframe itself as an efficient country that took timely steps to stop the spread of the virus, according to the media reports.

"Unfortunately, rather than using best practices, this outbreak in Wuhan was covered up", national security adviser O'Brien said during a think tank appearance on Wednesday.

More than 130,000 people have been infected by the virus and almost 5,000 have died across the world so far.

"The infection was first spotted in China but the virus may not have originated in China", Zhong Nanshan, an expert in infectious diseases said at a press conference.

"We have done a good job responding to it, but ... the way that this started out in China, and the way it was handled from the outset, was not right", said O'Brien.

  • Sonia Alvarado