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QUESTION:  Here with more on China as well as America’s behind-the-scenes effort to get thousands of Americans back home during this outbreak is Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.  Mr. Secretary, I know for a fact that you have gotten people – we had people on missions – you’ve gotten them home safely, people all across the globe. You’ve been working 24/7.  I want people to know what you’ve been doing behind the scenes.

SECRETARY POMPEO:  Well, Sean, thanks.  Thanks for having me on the show tonight.  The State Department team has done amazing work.  Over 25,000 Americans returned home when airports all across the world, roads across the world were closed, when health care facilities across the world were closed.  These Americans wanted to come home.  Twenty-five thousand Americans, 50 countries, some dozens and dozens of flights.  We’ve got several thousand more people to get home, and the State Department is hard at work.

If you heard some of these stories, you just heard the story of the Comfort, the story from Samaritan’s Purse, if you heard the stories of what the State Department has done to get people out of places like Bhutan, an impossible place to get to.  We had a sick American, an American citizen who was suffering.  We got him out, we got him back, we got him to safety.  Truly good work to bring Americans home.  It’s the best of what the Trump administration has demonstrated in this enormous crisis.

QUESTION:  Mr. Secretary, we’ve got to deal with this issue of China.  Are you confident now?  They have valuable intel and information that could help the world after they hid this, when you said the last time on this show, you would have gladly sent our experts over to help them.

SECRETARY POMPEO:  Sean, President Trump and I have been committed to making sure that we had the best data available.  When you hear Doctors Fauci and Birx talk about risk, talk about fatalities, trying to think about how to model, what they need is data.

They need data from Italy.  They need data from China.  They need data from Iran.  We need every country to step up and provide accurate, transparent information.  And if we can’t have that, if we have disinformation instead, there are more lives that will be at risk not only today but in the weeks ahead as we battle this enormous challenge.

We’ve asked every country to step up and tell us what they know so that the world can learn.  America will then turn around and we will share the information we get, and we’ll keep people safe not only here in the United States but all across the world.

QUESTION:  You’re having a problem with Iran.  The last time on this program you actually said if they ask for help, you would give it.  Tell us what’s going on.

SECRETARY POMPEO:  We have repeatedly offered the people of Iran assistance.  We want – this is a humanitarian crisis inside the Islamic Republic of Iran as well.  We have offered to provide humanitarian assistance.  We have offered to provide assistance, if they don’t want to take it from America, to help other countries get their assistance into the country.  That offer stood then; that offer stands now.  Sadly, the Islamic Republic of Iran’s regime, the leadership, has rejected those offers of humanitarian assistance from us here in America.  It’s really unfortunate for the Iranian people.  There will be Iranians who die.

QUESTION:  A lot has been made over calling it the Wuhan virus, and you took issue with anybody saying sorry, we do that with a lot of other illnesses.

SECRETARY POMPEO:  Yeah, President Trump was very clear.  I think he even said it again this morning.  Yes, he talked about it as being the Chinese coronavirus.  But what we’ve been looking for here all along is we simply want to make sure we understand what’s happened so that we can prevent the loss of life moving forward.  We’re looking to cooperate with every country.  We’d love to cooperate with the Chinese as well to get the right information so that we can do all that’s needed to find therapeutics, to find a vaccine, to do everything we can to reduce the risk that there will be more lives lost as the world moves forward.

QUESTION:  Mr. Secretary, thank you, and thank you for bringing home all of those Americans.  That story will be tell – will be told over time.


U.S. Department of State

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