China’s missing virologist denies defecting to West with secrets of coronavirus origin

Monday, 04 May, 2020

Sources say not all 17 intelligence agencies agree that the lab was the source of the virus because there is not yet a definitive "smoking gun". We've said from the beginning that this was a virus that originated in Wuhan, China.

But as investigations into the origins of the virus have picked up pace in China, the World Health Organization has not been involved.

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.

Pompeo then asserted his claim again when Raddatz asked flatly, "Do you believe it was manmade or genetically modified?"

So I can't answer your question about that.

Pompeo then briefly contradicted a statement issued this week by the top us spy agency that said the virus did not appear to be man-made or genetically modified. When the interviewer pointed out that was not the conclusion of US intelligence agencies, Pompeo backtracked, saying, "I've seen what the intelligence community has said". Some of it you can see in public, right? "I have no reason to doubt that that is accurate at this point".

200319 Wuhan
China’s missing virologist denies defecting to West with secrets of coronavirus origin

"This is an ongoing threat, an ongoing pandemic", Pompeo said.

"There's not much I can share with you", he said, but added the absence is "not unprecedented".

But US President Donald Trump has fuelled speculation and rumours - generally rejected by experts - that the virus may have emerged in a top-secret Chinese lab. No one's been allowed to go to this lab or any of the other laboratories - there are many labs inside of China, Martha.

Trump has also been sharply critical of the World Health Organization's response to the pandemic and is suspending U.S. financial support, saying it moved too slowly to alert the world to the gravity of the disease and was insufficiently skeptical of China's involvement.

He said the United Nations health agency understood there were a number of investigations under way in China "to better understand the source of the outbreak", but added that "WHO is not now involved in the studies in China".

Germany's Foreign Minister Heiko Maas on Sunday called for China to provide an explanation for the origins of the virus: "It is in the whole world's interest that the precise origin of the virus is clarified", he said in comments to Funke Mediengruppe - Germany's third-largest newspaper and magazine publisher.