US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Tuesday criticised China’s handling of the coronavirus outbreak and said that its ruling Communist Party was still denying the world information it needs to prevent further cases.

In an interview with the Washington Watch radio program, Pompeo repeated previous charges that Beijing’s delay in sharing information about the virus had created risks to people worldwide and said this had “truly put thousands of lives at risk.”

“My concern is that this cover-up, this disinformation that the Chinese Communist Party is engaged in, is still denying the world the information it needs so that we can prevent further cases or something like this from recurring again,” he added.

Pompeo also accused Iran and Russia of waging disinformation campaigns about the virus.

“The time will come for recriminations,” he said, but added it was important for the world to know now what was really going on.

“This is an ongoing global crisis, and we need to make sure that every country today is being transparent, sharing what’s really going on, so that the global community, the global health care, infectious disease community can begin to work on this in a holistic way.”

Pompeo, a persistent critic of Beijing and the Communist Party, said “very important decisions” would have to be made in future about how the US.-China relationship was structured.

The proposed US push has sparked concern in China and elsewhere, although it is unclear when Trump might act.

During a daily briefing of his coronavirus task force, Trump said the United States “should never be reliant on a foreign country for the means of our own survival.”

Pompeo has blamed Russia, China and Iran for spreading “disinformation” on COVID-19 and carrying out coordinated efforts to “disparage” American attempts towards containing the fast-spreading coronavirus pandemic.

On Friday, Secretary of State blamed Russia, China and Iran for spreading “disinformation” on COVID-19 and carrying out coordinated efforts to “disparage” American attempts towards containing the fast-spreading coronavirus pandemic.

Pompeo on Monday said that the country was cutting $1 billion in aid to Afghanistan, voicing disappointment that rival leaders pressed by him on a visit failed to form an inclusive government.