The origins of COVID-19 have been investigated by scientists worldwide, with it first being confirmed in Wuhan, China in December 2019. Pompeo has pushed back against suggestions that he and other members of President Donald Trump administration have issued conflicting statements about the exact origins of coronavirus. The US Secretary of State spoke to the State Department press conference on Wednesday to continue his assault on China.
He said: “They knew.
“China could have prevented the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people worldwide.
“China could have spared the world descent into global economic malaise.
“China is still refusing to share the information we need to keep people safe.”
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On Sunday, Pompeo said there was “a significant amount of evidence” the virus emerged from the Wuhan Institute of Virology, having said the previous Thursday it was not known whether it came from the lab, a so-called wet market, or some other place.
On Wednesday, he said the United State did not have certainty, but there was significant evidence it came from the lab.
He said: “Every one of those statements is entirely consistent.
“We are all trying to figure out the right answer.
“We are all trying to get the clarity.
“There are different levels of certainty assessed at different places.”
President Donald Trump’s administration has been steadfast in it’s blame of China for the pandemic.
Mr Trump has lamented the handling of coronavirus by China, saying: “This is worse than the World Trade Center.
“There’s never been an attack like this, and it should have never happened.
“It could have been stopped at the source.
“It could have been stopped in China.”
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Trump was asked last Thursday if he had seen evidence that gave him a “high degree of confidence” that the virus came from the Wuhan Institute of Virology, and replied that he had, although he declined to give specifics.
The Wuhan Institute of Virology, a Chinese state-backed institute, has dismissed allegations that the virus originated there.
Most experts believe it originated in a Wuhan market selling wildlife and jumped from animals to people.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and a member of Trump’s Coronavirus Task Force, said in an interview published on Monday that the best evidence showed the virus was not made in a lab, but appeared to have “evolved in nature and then jumped species.”
In an opinion article published in the Washington Post, China’s ambassador to the United States, Cui Tiankai, said “blaming China will not end this pandemic.”
They said: “It is time to end the blame game.
“It is time to focus on the disease and rebuild trust between our two countries.”
The US has seen 1,256,669 cases of coronavirus as of Wednesday May 6.
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