Months before the COVID-19 pandemic began, the Trump administration eliminated a key American public health position in Beijing.
According to Reuters, the job of Dr. Linda Quick was to help detect disease outbreaks in China.
The American disease expert was a medical epidemiologist embedded in China’s disease control agency.
Sources say she left her post in July.
The first cases of the new coronavirus may have emerged as early as November.
As cases skyrocketed, the Trump administration in February chastised China for keeping U.S. experts from entering the country to help.
Relations between the two countries have deteriorated since then, as Trump has labeled the coronavirus the 'Chinese virus.'.
Last week, the Chinese government announced that Americans from three U.S. news organizations would be expelled from China.
The organizations include The New York Times, Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal.