The People’s Daily, China’s largest daily newspaper and an official organ of the ruling communist party’s central committee, reported on Monday that a spokesman for the foreign ministry had said the U.S. had not offered help and instead spread “created chaos and fear.”
That amounts to an accusation that U.S. officials were lying when they said at a press conference last week that they had been trying to get China to accept aid in the form of U.S. health experts for several weeks but China had yet to consent.
“CDC experts are standing by, ready willing and able to go immediately to China, either on a bilateral basis or under the auspices of the World Health Organization,” U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said. “This is a major public health issue and we basically just need the best public health people we have in the world working on this.”
U.S. personnel could aid China in answering critical public health questions about how the virus spreads, its incubation period, and if it can be spread by those not yet showing symptoms, CDC Director Robert Redfield said.