U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo said “enormous evidence” shows the novel coronavirus began in a laboratory in Wuhan, China, and that Beijing has refused to give international scientists access to learn what happened.
“I can tell you that there is a significant amount of evidence that this came from that laboratory in Wuhan,” Pompeo said on ABC’s “This Week.” “These are not the first times that we’ve had a world exposed to viruses as a result of failures in a Chinese lab.”
Pompeo stopped short of saying the virus was man-made, noting that he agreed with a report by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence that ruled out genetic modification or it having been man-made.
The virus’s origin has become a flash point in the pandemic and ratcheted up tensions between the U.S. and China. President Donald Trump has escalated efforts to attach blame to China as U.S. pandemic deaths pass 66,000.
“I’ve seen what the intelligence community has said,” said Pompeo. “I have no reason to believe that they’ve got it wrong.” Pompeo declined to say whether the Chinese intentionally released the virus.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
ODNI News Release No. 11-20
April 30, 2020
Intelligence Community Statement on Origins of COVID-19
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Office of the Director of National Intelligence today issued the following Intelligence Community (IC) statement:
“The entire Intelligence Community has been consistently providing critical support to U.S. policymakers and those responding to the COVID-19 virus, which originated in China. The Intelligence Community also concurs with the wide scientific consensus that the COVID-19 virus was not manmade or genetically modified.
State-Funded Lab in Australia Linked to China’s Coronavirus Research – Reports
The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO), the Australian federal agency responsible for scientific research, has been involved in the training and funding of the work of a team of Chinese scientists who would go on to engage in the genetic modification of deadly coronaviruses transmittable from bats to human beings in Wuhan, Australia’s The Daily Telegraph has reported.
The report, based on a 15-page intelligence dossier on the COVID-19 outbreak by the Five Eyes, the Anglophone intelligence alliance consisting of the US, the UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, alleges that senior researchers from the Wuhan Institute of Virology, the institute at the heart of President Trump’s claims as to the virus’s origins, either received training or were employed by CSIRO’s Australian Animal Health Laboratory.
Furthermore, the newspaper says that cooperation between CSIRO and the Chinese Academy of Sciences appears to be ongoing.
The names of Chinese scientists working in Australia are said to include Dr. Shi Zhengli, director of the Center for Emerging Infectious Diseases the Wuhan lab, who lived in Australia over a three month period in 2006 as a visiting scientist, and who was said to have engaged in research into the SARS virus. Peng Zhou, another senior researcher who currently heads up the Bat Virus Infection and Inmmunology Project at the Wuhan lab, spent five years studying and working in Australia, completing his doctorate at CSIRO between 2009 and 2010 and going on to engage in bat research at the Australian Animal Health Laboratory between 2011 and 2014. In 2019, the researchers published a paper in the Viruses medical journal warning of the danger of cross-species coronavirus transmission originating in bats.
They are saying it’s not man made..
They are NOT saying that it didn’t escape from the lab intentionally or not.