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Coronavirus, SARS, 3 more plagues from China in 20 years, says US NSA

'China's got to figure out how to deal with its public health because we cannot have another one of these virus outbreaks and plagues come from China,' US National Security Advisor Robert O'Brien said

twitter-logo PTI        Last Updated: May 14, 2020  | 10:39 IST
Coronavirus, SARS, 3 more plagues from China in 20 years, says US NSA
More than 250,000 people have died due to the coronavirus and over 4 million people infected around the world due to coronavirus (image courtesy: Reuters)

As many as five plagues have come out of China in the last 20 years and at some point it has to stop, US National Security Advisor Robert O'Brien has said, holding the country responsible for the origin of the coronavirus pandemic which has killed over 250,000 people globally.

People across the globe are going to rise up and tell the Chinese government that "we can no longer have these plagues coming out of China", whether it is from labs or wet markets, neither one is a good answer, he told reporters at the White House on Tuesday.

"We know it came from Wuhan and I think there's circumstantial evidence that it could have come from the lab or the wet market. But, again, if you're China, neither one's a good answer," O'Brien said.

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"We've had five plagues from China in the last 20 years. We've had SARS, avian flu, swine flu, COVID-19 now and how longer can the world put up with this terrible public health situation that you've got in the People's Republic of China that is being unleashed on the world," the top American official said.

He, however, did not mention the fifth plague to come out of from China.

"I mean, this is -- at some point, it's got to stop. We offered to send in health professionals to help the Chinese. They rejected that," he said.

When asked that the US is still looking for evidence about the origin of the virus, he refrained from giving a timeframe.

"I can't give you a timeframe on that. That's something that we're continuing to review and it is obviously a very serious concern.

"Look, China's got to figure out how to deal with its public health because we cannot have another one of these virus outbreaks and plagues come from China. This was a terrible thing that happened to the entire world, not just to the United States," he said.

More than 250,000 people have died due to the coronavirus and over 4 million people infected around the world. The US is the worst-hit country with more than 80,000 deaths and 1.4 million cases.

"The world economy shut down, and this isn't the first time it's happened. This is the fifth time it's happened in 20 years, and it's got to stop. China needs help.

"They need help from the rest of the world. And we're prepared to help China deal with the public health crises so we don't face this issue again," O'Brien added.

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