Former Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe has blasted the Biden administration for its “empty rhetoric” in a new report about China that fails to mention any question of the origins of COVID-19.
President Biden has faced criticism over his handling of affairs with China, with some accusing him of being afraid to be too tough on a country that is arguably America’s biggest economic threat — if not the greatest security threat to the country as well.
“Case in point … Joe Biden put out a 200-page strategic plan on COVID-19 … and there is not a single word about the origins of COVID-19,” Ratcliffe told Maria Bartiromo on “Sunday Morning Futures.”
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“Maybe it’s because they’ve all had interactions with China, business dealings with China or their family has, but, again, it’s been empty rhetoric,” Ratcliffe said, who proceeded to claim China is responsible for every American who died from COVID-19.
Since he took office, Biden has dodged questions about China, even as he touts an old relationship with Chinese President Xi Jinping.
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Fox News White House correspondent Peter Doocy asked Biden on whether he’d pressure China following the president’s summit with Russian leader Vladimir Putin in Geneva. Biden has made frequent references to his longstanding relationship with Xi dating back to the Obama administration.
Biden hit back, saying, “We know each other well, we’re not old friends.”
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However, Biden has yet to take a firm stance with China, a nation that many demand answers from over COVID-19’s origins.
The dominant theory in the early days of the pandemic was that the virus transmitted from a bat to a human in a Chinese wet market in Wuhan, but some pointed to a lab in Wuhan that may have been involved in virology and experimenting with viruses.
The theory was initially dismissed, but it gained traction last month after The Wall Street Journal published a story about a U.S. intelligence report that revealed three researchers at the Wuhan Institute of Virology had sought hospital treatment for an unidentified illness in November 2019, when researchers say the virus was spreading through the city of 11 million people.
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China has scoffed at the theory, urging U.S. officials “to respect facts and science, refrain from politicizing the issue … and focus on international cooperation in the fight against the pandemic.”
Fox News’ Thomas Barrabi contributed to this report.
Peter Aitken is a New York born-and-raised reporter with a focus on national and global news.