US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says there is “a significant amount of evidence” that COVID-19 came from a laboratory in the Chinese city of Wuhan.
The comments, echoing those of Donald Trump three days ago, contradict a statement by US intelligence agencies this week saying COVID-19[female[feminine does not appear to be of human origin or genetically modified.
Neither President Trump nor his secretary of state has produced any evidence.
In an interview with ABC this week, Pompeo said, “There is a significant amount of evidence that this came from this laboratory in Wuhan.
“The best experts so far seem to think it was created by humans. I have no reason not to believe this at this point. “
When the interviewer pointed out that this was not the conclusion of the American intelligence agencies, Pompeo quickly backed down: “I saw what the intelligence community said. I have no reason to believe they were wrong. “
It comes after President Trump claimed he had saw evidence that the virus came from a laboratory in Wuhan, but declined to give further details.
The conspiracy theory that the virus was created by humans has been promoted by anti-Chinese activists and some supporters of President Trump, who claimed it was developed in a Chinese government’s biological weapons laboratory .
The Wuhan Institute of Virology rejected the claims, and other US officials have downplayed their likelihood.
The office of the director of national intelligence, the clearinghouse on the network of American spy agencies, said on Thursday that he had ruled out the possibility of the virus being created by humans, but was investigating. still on the precise source of the global pandemic.
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US officials familiar with intelligence reports and analyzes have said for weeks that they did not believe Chinese scientists had developed the virus in a government biological weapons laboratory.
They believe it was introduced through human contact with animals into a meat market in the central city of Wuhan, or could have escaped from one of two government laboratories in Wuhan believed to be conducting civilian research on possible biological risks.