The US President Donald Trump on Thursday issued a statement saying that Coronavirus started from a lab in China.
US President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo have both claimed that there is evidence the pathogen came from the lab in Wuhan#WuhanLab #CoronavirusCrisis #UnitedStates #China https://t.co/5vwk1A3IfP— Deccan Chronicle (@DeccanChronicle) May 6, 2020
He claims to have seen evidence to substantiate the unproven theory that the coronavirus originated at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, despite US intelligence agencies’ conclusion that the virus was “not man made or genetically modified”. He said:
We’re going to see where it comes from,” Trump said at a White House event on Thursday. “We have people looking at it very, very strongly. Scientific people, intelligence people, and others. We’re going to put it all together. I think we will have a very good answer eventually. And China might even tell us.
Trump even suggested the release could have been intentional.
Prior to the White House event, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the clearinghouse for the web of U.S. spy agencies, said it had ruled out the virus being man-made but was still investigating the precise source of the global pandemic, which has killed more than 220,000 people worldwide.
Spies in the US have concluded that the new coronavirus was “not man-made or genetically modified” but say they are still examining whether the origins of the pandemic can be traced to contact with infected animals or an accident at a Chinese lab. https://t.co/d9FP8ZDg4L— Sam Nato 🇰🇪 🇿🇦 (@SamNato) April 30, 2020
Trump’s comments came as global infections passed 3.25 million, a third of which were in the US, and where the death toll was approaching 63,000. Recoveries worldwide have passed 1 million.
Earlier Thursday, before Trump's comments, the Chinese government said that any claims that the coronavirus was released from a laboratory are “unfounded and purely fabricated out of nothing."
Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang cited the institute’s director, Yuan Zhiming, as saying the lab strictly implements bio-security procedures that would prevent the release of any pathogen.
At the White House, Trump repeatedly blamed China for its handling of the outbreak, criticizing the country for restricting domestic travel to slow the virus but not international travel to keep it from spreading abroad.
“Certainly it could have been stopped," Trump said during an event in the East Room on his administration's efforts to aid seniors during the outbreak. “They either couldn’t do it from a competence standpoint, or they let it spread."“It got loose, let's say, and they could have capped it."
Earlier this month, Trump addressed the lab theory saying, “More and more, we’re hearing the story." Secretary of State Mike Pompeo added at the time, “The mere fact that we don’t know the answers that China hasn’t shared the answers I think is very, very telling."
While Trump’s claim remains unsupported by any evidence, it seems that the US President might be looking for a cover to hide his mistakes of being unable to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus.