(WASHINGTON, D.C.) — A conspiracy theory that COVID-19 didn’t originate in a Chinese market, but instead a lab, is gaining ground in the White House. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Sunday there are “enormous” signs that the pandemic was created in a biomedical lab in Wuhan, China.
Talking to ABC’s This Week, the secretary attested, “I can tell you that there is a significant amount of evidence that this came from that laboratory in Wuhan.”
Pompeo added it will be difficult to prove outright that the virus was intentionally or accidentally released “because the Chinese Communist Party has refused to cooperate with world health experts.”
The secretary added, “China behaved like authoritarian regimes do, attempted to conceal and hide and confuse.”
He also added that he does not believe the virus was manmade, agreeing with a press release from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) that stated, “The Intelligence Community also concurs with the wide scientific consensus that the COVID-19 virus was not manmade or genetically modified.”
Saying he has “no reason to disbelieve” the ODNI, Pompeo added, “I’ve seen their analysis. I’ve seen the summary that you saw that was released publicly. I have no reason to doubt that that is accurate.”
The ODNI is investigating the possibility the outbreak was due to a lab accident.
However, other health officials — such as Dr. Christine Johnson, director of the U.S. Agency for International Development’s Predict project — claim the virus originated in the wild, given the “huge barriers between people and viruses in the laboratory setting.”
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