Taipei:  US Health and Human Service Secretary Alex Azar has redoubled accusations that China failed to adequately warn of the coronavirus after it was first detected in Wuhan.

Azar says China’s ruling Communist Party had the chance to warn the world and work with the world on battling the virus. But they chose not to, and the costs of that choice mount higher every day. The Trump administration has repeatedly accused China of withholding information from the UN World Health Organisation and the international community as the virus began to take hold.

China denies the charge, saying it communicated information as soon as it had it, although records appear to show new cases weren’t being tabulated during a key meeting of the provincial legislature. Since then, the US has announced it will withdraw from the WHO.

Azar says Beijing had been lobbying against an investigation into the origins of the virus along with reforms desperately needed to make WHO a more effective institution. Azar, the highest-level US official to visit Taiwan since formal relations between the sides were severed in 1979, praised Taiwan’s response to the coronavirus

Source: AP