President Joe Biden said Tuesday that he hasn’t spoken to Chinese President Xi Jinping about the origins of the coronavirus, despite supposedly holding a two-hour phone conversation with him in February.
Biden was responding to questions from Fox News’ Peter Doocy about the possibility China “misled the world” concerning the coronavirus at the start of the pandemic, when he denied ever speaking to Jinping about the topic. (RELATED: Chinese Ambassador Calls For WHO Investigation Into US Over Coronavirus Origins)
“You mentioned 554,064 American dead from COVID-19. A lot of families want to know how this happened, how it got here. Have you had a chance to speak to any of your international partners?” Doocy asked after Biden concluded an announcement on the coronavirus vaccine rollout. “President Xi, who I know you go way back with, have you had a chance to ask him if these reports are true that China maybe misled the world at the beginning?”
“No, I have not had that conversation with President Xi. Thank you,” Biden responded before exiting the room.
Biden spoke with Jinping by phone on Feb. 10, his first interaction with the Chinese leader since taking office in January. Biden said the conversation lasted for two hours, according to Reuters. The White House released a statement concerning the phone call and listed the subjects the two leaders discussed. The statement said the two discussed the pandemic, but it didn’t go into detail as to the specifics of the conversation.
China has come under heavy criticism since the start of the coronavirus pandemic over misinformation surrounding the virus’ origins. In May 2020, it was confirmed to the Daily Caller News Foundation that China pressured the World Health Organization to not declare the coronavirus pandemic a global health emergency. This delayed the declaration by more than a week, possibly endangering more lives.
China has previously tried to place blame for the virus on other countries. Last year it accused Italy of being the original source of the pandemic. One Chinese politician even blamed the U.S. Army for introducing the virus into China.