G7 Joint Statement On Covid-19 Delayed After US Insists That Novel Coronavirus Be Termed “Wuhan Virus”  US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. (Twitter/SecPompeo)

The release of a joint statement by Foreign ministers of the G7 countries ( a self-described group of 7 ‘leading’ industrialized nations) has been delayed after Trump administration insisted that COVID-19 be referred to as "Wuhan virus," Der Spiegel reported.

G7 was expected to release a joint statement following a video conference Wednesday (Mar 25).

Foreign ministers from the seven countries -- U.S., Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United Kingdom -- met virtually via video teleconference on Wednesday, after the U.S. was forced to cancel the annual meeting, scheduled for Pittsburgh, because of the COVID-19 outbreak.

While the foreign ministers of the grouping agreed on the need for joint efforts to halt the spread of the novel coronavirus, they were unable to reach a consensus on the final draft of the statement after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s call for the virus to be identified by name as the “Wuhan virus.”

Beijing and Washington have been in a war of words over attempts by Chinese state media and its propaganda arm to link the origins of the novel coranavirus, that was first reported in China, to U.S. officials. US officials including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo increasingly blaming the Chinese government.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian has been belligerently pushing unverified theories on the origin of the pandemic in social media. An angry US State Department even summoned the Chinese ambassador in Washington objecting to what it saw as a propaganda war by China

According to the report, the phrase "Wuhan virus" has not been adopted by other countries, and other members of G7 considered it needlessly antagonistic.

With each country releasing their own statements after the video conference, a joint statement is unlikely to be released.

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