China’s ambassador to the United States, Cui Tiankai on Friday, March 20, dismissed assertions that communist authorities covered up the CCP Virus (also known as the Wuhan coronavirus) outbreak in the country at its early stages.

In a preview of the interview by Axios slated to air on Sunday, Cui dodged the question about the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) role in allowing the virus outbreak to become a global pandemic and declined to apologize. 

“By covering up the reality of this virus for three weeks, Communist Party officials allowed the virus to spread not just to harm people in China, but to people all around the world,” Axios’s Jonathan Swan noted.

Swan then asked the ambassador whether the Communist Party wanted to apologize for its initial “coverup” of the virus outbreak in China.

“I think that that statement is based on distortions of fact,” Cui replied.

The first CCP Virus case was detected on Nov. 17 in Wuhan, China. That was the time for Chinese authorities to act but instead of containing the spread of the virus, they went after whistleblowers who were trying to call attention to the public health threat. Seven weeks later, the government instituted a lockdown in Wuhan. By then, more than 5 million people had already left the city and brought the virus with them all over the world.

Several U.S. officials have planned to take measures to hold the CCP responsibility for letting the disease spread beyond its borders.

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) in his tweet on March 18 called for “a full, international investigation of  #China Communist Party’s actions that helped turn #coronavirus #COVID19 into a global pandemic—and #China needs to be prepared to pay other countries for the havoc the CCP has unleashed.”

White House National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien slammed Beijing for covering up the CCP Virus outbreak by detaining and silencing the whistleblower doctors so that word of the virus could not get out.

“It probably cost the world community two months to respond, and those two months … could have dramatically curtailed what happened in China and what is now happening across the world,” he said.

The CCP Virus has to date spread to virtually every country in the world and has caused at least 11,422 deaths, including 275 in the United States, according to the latest available data.

Italy on Friday reported 627 new deaths, the largest single-day toll anywhere in the world since the CCP Virus outbreak began.