Daily US Times: US President Donald Trump seems to undercut his own intelligence agencies, saying he has seen evidence coronavirus originated in a Chinese laboratory.
US national intelligence director’s office earlier said it was still investigating the origin of the virus, but said it had determined Covid-19 “was not manmade or genetically modified”.
Not only the US, many other countries are also pointing finger in China about how it had begun. China has denied the lab theory.
The virus war originated in Wuhan, China, late last year and since then has killed 230,000 people worldwide including 63,000 in the US.
The pandemic has been infected at least 3.2 million people worldwide, a million of them Americans.
What did Trump say?
“Have you seen anything at this point that gives you a high degree of confidence that the Wuhan Institute of Virology was the origin of this virus?” a reporter asked Mr Trump on Thursday.
“Yes, I have. Yes, I have,” he replied without specifying anything.
Trump said the World Health Organization [WHO] should be ashamed of themselves because they’re like the public relations agency for China.
When being asked to clarify the comment later, he said: “I can’t tell you that. I’m not allowed to tell you that.”
“Whether they [China] made a mistake, or whether it started off as a mistake and then they made another one, or did somebody do something on purpose?” President Trump told reporters.
He added: “I don’t understand how traffic, how people weren’t allowed into the rest of China, but they were allowed into the rest of the world. That’s bad, that’s a hard question for them to answer.”
On Thursday, the New York Times reported that US intelligence community was asked by the senior White House officials to investigate whether the virus came from a Wuhan research laboratory.
Officials who don’t want their names revealed, told the NBC that US intelligence agencies have also been tasked with determining if China and the WHO withheld information about the virus early on.
What did the intelligence service say?
The Office of the Director of National Intelligence issued a rare public statement on Thursday, saying it concurs with the “wide scientific consensus” regarding Covid-19’s natural origins.
The statement reads: “The [intelligence community] will continue to rigorously examine emerging information and intelligence to determine whether the outbreak began through contact with infected animals or if it was the result of an accident at a laboratory in Wuhan.”
It was the first clear response from American intelligence debunking conspiracy theories about the origin of the virus – both from the US and China – that the virus is a bioweapon.