'Enormous evidence' virus came from China lab, says Pompeo

Tuesday, 05 May, 2020

The U.S. intelligence community last week concluded that the virus was not man-made. "All the money that people think they made by making deals with China before, now they've been eclipsed many fold by the economic damage [caused by Covid-19]".

His answer was an explosive one.

Most scientists say the disease arose naturally in the animal kingdom.

Last week, Pompeo indicated he had not seen definitive proof.

The Australian Telegraph reported the USA -led Five Eyes intelligence consortium had in a 15-page research dossier said that China had deliberately suppressed or destroyed evidence of the coronavirus outbreak in an "assault on worldwide transparency" that cost tens of thousands of lives. "I agree with that". I don't comment on individual bulletins, what I have and haven't seen. "I have no reason to disbelieve that at this point".

China and the USA have repeatedly traded barbs over the virus' origins in an escalating war of words, after the Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian in March pushed the conspiracy theory that the U.S. military may have brought the virus to China.

Many other European countries are also relaxing lockdowns, even as they continue to advocate social distancing, masks and more testing to try to track infections.

"Certainly it could have been stopped".

"I just can't say anything about that", he said.

President Trump answers a viewer question on the global response to China's handling of the coronavirus pandemic at Fox News' virtual town hall. But it knowledgeable the World Health Organization of the outbreak on December 31; contacted the U.S. Centers for Disease Control on January.

"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 added, pointing at China's "history of running substandard laboratories". There's lots of evidence of that. "They couldn't put out the fire".

He said early Chinese efforts to downplay the coronavirus amounted to "a classic Communist disinformation effort".

Blue skies greeted Romans as they stepped into a world forever changed by the pandemic that has now infected 3.5 million people.

Trump has time and again insisted that Beijing, on its part, was reckless and concealed important information about the outbreak which has infected more than 1.1 million people and killed almost 67,000 in the US.

Trump also said there was enough evidence to prove President Xi Jinping's regime misled the global community.

China, for its part, has said the lab theory is "purely fabricated out of nothing".

The report comes less than a week after Beijing lashed out at Prime Minister Scott Morrison, saying he deserved "a slap in the face" for trying to blame the COVID-19 pandemic on the communist state, and warned any push for an independent inquiry into the virus' origins would spark a travel and trade boycott. China denies that the virus had been leaked from the lab, and the World Health Organization also believes it wasn't man-made.

But Trump's chief diplomat on Sunday ran with his boss's position, citing "enormous" evidence that the virus originated in a Wuhan lab.

The US has recorded 1,188,122 cases and 68,598 deaths while Spain is second in terms of the death toll with 25,264 casualties.

"The U.S. government has ignored the facts, diverted public attention and engaged in buck-passing in an attempt to shirk its responsibility for incompetence in the fight against the epidemic", Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Geng Shuang said.

Trump's criticism is some of the sharpest rhetoric against China since he was elected president.