A State Department official gave a lengthy statement on “health security” at Tuesday’s briefing as it remains unclear if President Joe Biden addressed the COVID-19 lab leak theory with Chinese President Xi Jinping.
Daily Caller Chief Foreign Affairs correspondent Dylan Housman asked State Department spokesperson Vedant Patel to expand on the definition of “health security” after U.S. officials discussed the issue with the Chinese government.
“What I can say and what is no secret is that between the United States and the PRC [People’s Republic of China] exist a number of challenges not just for our two countries, but countries around the world, that addressing these challenges transnationally together is a better result for both of our people but the world broadly,” Patel said. “And that of course includes climate change, that includes global health, that includes health security, it includes global economic stability. But I don’t have anything other specific to add.”
Housman then asked if the COVID-19 pandemic is “on the radar” for “global health security.”
“Of course global health security is on the agenda and on the radar and of course as a planet we are as prepped for the future public health crisis that may transpire,” Patel answered. (RELATED: State Dept. Dodges On Whether Biden Asked Saudis To Delay Oil Cut For Midterms)
Biden met with President Xi in person for the first time in his presidency Monday to discuss rising tensions in regards to Ukraine and Taiwan. The president told Xi that the two countries need to work together on health security, climate change and global food security and Chinese abuse on human rights.
It is unclear if the president discussed the lab leak theory with Xi, which indicates that COVID-19 originated in the Wuhan Institute of Virology and accidentally was released from the lab. White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre previously told reporters that she would “not get ahead of” what the president and Xi would discuss when asked if the theory would be a topic of conversation.