Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Sunday in an interview on ABC’s “This Week” that there is now “enormous evidence” that the coronavirus originated from a Wuhan laboratory rather than in the Chinese wet markets as was originally thought.
“We can confirm that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) did all that it could to make sure that the world didn’t learn in a timely fashion about what was taking place,” Secretary Pompeo told ABC host Martha Raddatz. “They did all the kinds of things that authoritarian regimes do. It’s the way communist parties operate; this is a classic communist disinformation effort.”
Raddatz then asked Secretary Pompeo if he had seen anything that gave him confidence the coronavirus had originated from a laboratory in Wuhan, China.
“There is enormous evidence that that’s where this began,” Pompeo responded. “Remember China has a history of infecting the world and they have a history of running substandard laboratories. I can tell you that there is a significant amount of evidence that this came from that laboratory in Wuhan.”
The Secretary refused to state whether he believed the release of the virus was intentional, but noted that China has continued to not allow teams from the United States or the World Health Organization (WHO) into China to visit any of their laboratories and investigate the origins of the virus.
“This is an ongoing challenge. We still need to get in there. We still don’t have the virus samples we need. This is an ongoing threat, an ongoing pandemic, and the CCP continues to block access to the Western world to figure out exactly what happened,” Secretary Pompeo stated.
The change in where government officials believe the virus originated is recent. NPR reported on April 23 that the United States was pressuring China to close it’s wet markets since that was where the virus was thought to have emerged.
This switch in tone has prompted a strong response from China.
As reported by National Review, the Chinese state media has blasted Secretary Pompeo’s remarks. “China’s state broadcaster CCTV broadcast a commentary segment entitled ‘Evil Pompeo is wantonly spewing poison and spreading lies,’” National Review noted.
As Secretary Pompeo made clear, the U.S. government now believes that a Chinese lab was responsible for the origin of the coronavirus and that the Chinese government has played an active role in covering up the scandal.
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