Pompeo’s comments come amidst a tense war of words between Washington and Beijing over the latter’s response to the initial Coronavirus outbreak in late 2019, with some US officials suggesting that the deadly disease was engineered in a laboratory.

The United States is working with International partners to ensure they understand that the Coronavirus originated in China, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said.

Appearing on the Ben Shapiro Show, Secretary Pompeo made clear that it is the position of the US that Beijing should explain to the rest of the world where the Coronavirus came from and that it should have to make reparations for the economic fallout of the pandemic.

“We need to hold accountable the parties responsible for the deaths here in the United States and the enormous economic costs that have been posed on the US,” said Secretary Pompeo.

“Diplomatically, we’re reaching out to countries all across the world to help them do the right thing, to help their economies get started back up, and to make sure that when the time is right, we can get international travel kicked back up, so that global commerce can recommence. If you get demand back up, that will matter an awful lot to workers right here in the United States of America,” Secretary Pompeo added.

However, Mr Pompeo made clear that the US’ contacts with other countries are not limited to issues of global travel and the rebooting of damaged economies.

“We are also working with these countries to make sure that they understand that this was in fact a virus that originated in Wuhan, China; that the Chinese government knew about this certainly by December 2019,” he said.

“…That they [China] failed to comply with their most fundamental obligations as a nation, and importantly, too, failed to comply with the international health regulations of the World Health Organization and then did a lot of things… to cover that up.”

The Secretary of State, often seen as one among many “China Hawks” within the US administration, also criticised the WHO for its role in the Coronavirus pandemic, saying that it failed to protect the world.

“We’re not going to let that happen again [pandemic outbreak], and we’re going to set up something, a system, which delivers an outcome, which reduces the risk that anything like this can ever happen again, from China or any place.”

US Accusations Against China

Pompeo is not the only Trump administration official to recently condemn China over its early response to the virus.

In a separate interview, National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien said that the “burden is on the Chinese to explain where the virus came from. But there is a lab in Wuhan that deals with this sort of virus. And we need to know if there was some sort of release. Accidental, perhaps.”

Not least of all, President Trump has repeatedly questioned whether China is being truthful both about its death toll numbers and about the origins of the virus. In April at one of his daily White House briefings, Mr Trump said Beijing would face consequences if it was "knowingly responsible" for the outbreak. 

"It could have been stopped in China before it started and it wasn't, and the whole world is suffering from it," Mr Trump said. 

Calls for an investigation into China's early handling of the crisis have also been made outside of the US. Recently, a group of conservatives in the EU parliament said that an investigation needs to be carried out into whether China concealed the truth from both domestic and international audiences over the true danger of Coronavirus. 

China has furiously dismissed claims that it reacted too slowly, or tried to cover up, the initial outbreak of Coronavirus on its soil. In early April, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, Hua Chunying, told reporters that, “the comments made by those US politicians are just shameless and morally repulsive. They should abandon such politicising of public health issues.”

Strategic US-China Rivalry’ to Intensify Amid COVID-19 Pandemic: Spain’s Foreign Minister

As the global number of those infected with COVID-19 reached 2,719,897 on Saturday, according to the World Health Organisation, one of the worst-hit countries, Spain, said that daily fatalities had fallen to the lowest level in more than a month, with the government mulling easing some of the strict restrictions introduced on 14 March.

Rivalry between the United States and China will intensify in the context of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, believes Spain’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Arancha Gonzalez Laja.

Speaking in an interview published on Sunday by El Mundo, the minister said:

"This is a strategic rivalry [between the US and China] that is there and will worsen."

When asked whether, in her opinion, the crisis triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic would also heighten inequality between the North and South, the minister replied:

“Yes, at least in an initial phase, we will move further away from Africa. Unless we build a network that helps the countries of the South navigate this crisis.”

Offering her opinion on whether a new world order might take shape after the global health crisis, Spain’s Minister of Foreign Affairs said:

“Movements that were underway will accelerate: geopolitical rivalry and the need for Europe to be clear about its role: if we have autonomy or if we become an appendage.”

Commenting on the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic for Spain, after the Bank of Spain forecast a drop in GDP of up to 13 percent in 2020, the minister believes it is difficult to slow down or mitigate the consequences of the crisis.

“It is difficult because the main measure taken to curb contagion has been to drastically reduce freedom of movement. And the economy needs mobility. For tourism, for example, which is 12 per cent of our GDP, mobility is essential. It is almost impossible to avoid a drop in GDP,” said González Laya.

Spain has been one of the hardest-hit countries in the pandemic, with the current death toll at 22, 902 according to Johns Hopkins University, and the overall number of registered cases at more than 223,700.

"The problem here is the size of the epidemic, the great quantity of infections which we had at the epidemic peak," Fernando Rodriguez, a public health professor at Madrid´s Autonomous University was quoted by AFP as saying.

Only the United States has more confirmed COVID-19 cases than Spain, with 939 249.

COVID-19 "circulated under the radar a lot" prior to the government ordering a nationwide lockdown on 14 March, the head of epidemiology at Barcelona´s Hospital Clinic, Antoni Trilla was cited as saying.

Experts cited by AFP suggested several factors as affecting the spread of the disease in Spain. Thus, the lifestyle in a country where people spend a lot of time outside, eating out, socializing, compounded by the traditionally tactile manner of interacting, similar to Italy’s, with a great deal of hugging and touching.

Density was also mentioned, as Spain has the most people living in flats of any European Union country, according to EU statistics agency Eurostat.

However, as the growth of new coronavirus infections in Spain has fallen to a record low since the start of the outbreak, the country has been bracing itself for the reopening of some sectors of its economy.

Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said on 25 April that he expected to approve a further relaxing of the country’s lockdown measures, that will include allowing outdoor exercise and walks after 2 May. Children up to 14 are permitted to leave their homes for an hour a day starting today, reported Bloomberg.