The United States praised South Africa on Saturday for quickly identifying a new version of Covid called the Omicron and sharing this knowledge with the rest of the world – an open source in China’s handling of the early coronavirus novel.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke with South Africa’s Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Naledi Pandor, and discussed co-operation in vaccinating people in Africa against Covid-19, the State Department said.
“Secretary Blinken commended South African scientists for their rapid identification of the Omicron model and the South African government for transparency by sharing this information, which should be a global example,” the statement said.
First under Donald Trump and now under President Joe Biden, the United States has repeatedly criticized China for not emerging as the origin of the coronavirus, which was first discovered in December 2019 in the Chinese city of Wuhan before spreading worldwide. It has now killed an estimated 5.2 million people.
In August this year the intelligence community in the US released a report stating that it could not reach a firm conclusion about the origin of the virus – among animals or the laboratory was highly advanced – because China had not assisted the US investigation.
The United States has also accused Beijing of waiting a long time before sharing important information about the outbreak, saying transparency could help stop the spread of the virus.
Following the release of an American report this summer, Biden accused Beijing of stoning.
“The world deserves answers, and I will not rest until we get it,” Biden said in a statement after the release of an unspecified report.
“Responsible nations do not escape this kind of globalization.”
The epidemic is one of the many sources of tensions today in US-China relations, as the two major powers are the conflict of trade, human rights, and the Taiwan crisis, among other things.