Dispute over “Wuhan virus”

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Dispute over





© JONATHAN ERNST / REUTERS



Annoyance among the G7 foreign ministers: A joint declaration on the corona crisis failed on the Americans. According to SPIEGEL information, they insist on a dubious name for the virus.

The G7 foreign ministers were supposed to meet in Pittsburgh this week, but the summit had to be canceled due to the coronavirus. Instead, the G7 foreign ministers are joining forces for a four-hour video conference on Wednesday.

It will be a premiere across thirteen time zones.

So that no Secretary of State has to get up in the middle of the night, the video switch in the US capital Washington starts at 7 a.m. local time, in Tokyo it is already 8 p.m.

It looks relaxed for the Europeans G7-Members from: In the calendar of Heiko Maas the period from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. is reserved.

However, there is not much left to discuss as things stand.

Because the idea of ​​a joint declaration by the seven important industrialized countries Corona crisis is on the brink, according to information from European diplomatic circles. The reason is a dispute over the question of how the pandemic should be called.

Accordingly, the State Department insists on the name “Wuhan virus”. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo represents the line of its President. Donald Trump speaks mostly of the “Chinese virus” at press conferences and on Twitter.

The other G7 members reject a label that suggests the pandemic is a Chinese problem.

They propose the term “Covid 19” also used by the World Health Organization (WHO). No agreement could be reached in the negotiations of the political directors of the G7 foreign ministries.

The idea that the G7 foreign ministers spoke about the corona crisis originally came from France. Germany supported the demand, the US initially refused.

The heads of state and government have already dealt with the issue, according to the State Department, a ministerial statement is no longer necessary. At the end of last week, however, Pompeo gave in, designs were sent back and forth, but without success.

The rigid attitude of the US government fits the course that Trump in the corona crisis: The Chinese are to blame, Europe reacted too late and contributed to the virus reaching the USA. That is his line.

He announced countermeasures such as the entry ban for EU citizens overnight – and without informing the Europeans beforehand. He initially excluded supposed friends like Great Britain from entry bans, but later corrected them.

Frustration is great in Berlin and Paris. Washington is finally saying goodbye to partnership, government officials say. Trump’s fight against multilateralism does not stop at formats like G7. Corona destroy the last remnants of the existing world order.

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