Ex-US envoy to China says 'we should not be surprised that we were lied to' about coronavirus

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Former Utah governor and U.S. ambassador to China Jon Huntsman Jr. told "Your World with Neil Cavuto" Monday that he was not surprised that the Communist government in Beijing had apparently concealed key information about the coronavirus pandemic.

"We should not be surprised that we were lied to," said Huntsman, who is running for Utah governor again 16 years after he was first elected to the job. "Why is that? Because the Chinese prize, above all, public stability and safety and control. They prize, above all, the ability to maintain a good face in the world community. So they lied."

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"It was the most irresponsible thing the Chinese have done in a very, very long time," Huntsman added. "And there's going to be a real price to pay for it."

Huntsman, who served as the top U.S. diplomat in Beijing from August 2009 to April 2011, also discussed his optimism for an American economic rebound.

"America, and particularly competitive states like Utah, are at their best when the chips are down, when nobody thinks there is a way forward. And you have to innovate. You have to find solutions and solve problems as you go forward," Huntsman said. "So I think we're actually temporarily not in a good place, but the future, I think, looks very, very bright in terms of our ability to compete, to bring supply chain pieces here to our state, to win new investment, to promote entrepreneurship in ways we never have."

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Huntsman said people are very aware of the public health requirements brought about by reopening.

"They understand social distancing," Huntsman said. "They understand all of the prophylactic measures that you have to take that they've heard from all of the public health officials, but they want to turn the lights on again."