Cronavirus Came from China Lab Donald Trump Says he’s Seen Evidence
President urges Beijing to 'open up' on pandemic's origin amid suggestions it came from Wuhan lab.
US President Donald Trump claimed Thursday that he has seen evidence that the novel coronavirus originated during a laboratory in Wuhan, China.
Asked if he has seen anything that provides him a "high degree of confidence" that the Wuhan Institute of Virology was where the virus had originated from, Trump replied: "Yes, I have."
His remarks came hours after the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) said the US Intelligence Community doesn't believe the coronavirus is "manmade or genetically modified.”
Speaking at a White House news conference, Trump attacked the planet Health Organization, claiming it's serving China’s interests because the coronavirus continues to spread around the world.
"The World Health Organization should be ashamed of themselves because they're sort of a PR agency for China," Trump told reporters.
He said the US pays the WHO almost $500 million a year while China pays only $38 million and claimed the organization has did not save lives.
"They shouldn't be making excuses when people make horrible mistakes that are causing many thousands of individuals around the world to die," said Trump.
Trump accuses the international body of mismanaging and covering up the spread of the coronavirus and cut funding to the WHO in mid-April.
He said the WHO is "China-centric," maintaining it had been the source of poor information for governments worldwide, particularly its opposition to countries closing their borders to China after the virus emerged there in December.
The coronavirus continues to spread within the US, claiming over 62,000 lives. quite a million are infected, consistent with Johns Hopkins University data.
After originating in Wuhan, China last December, COVID-19 has spread to a minimum of 187 countries and regions. Europe and therefore the US is currently the worst-hit.
The pandemic has killed over 232,800 worldwide, with quite 3.27 million infections, while recoveries now exceed a million.
Deadly consequences for the delay:
Trump and Pompeo's comments follow an Associated Press news agency report, which blamed Chinese authorities for failing to immediately disclose information about the human-to-human transmission of the virus, also known as COVID-19, which allowed the virus to spread beyond Wuhan.
News claimed on Wednesday that the virus originated in a Wuhan laboratory as part of China's effort to demonstrate that its efforts to identify and combat viruses are equal to or greater than the capabilities of the United States.
This report and others have suggested the Wuhan lab where virology experiments took place and lax safety standards there led to someone getting infected and appearing at a nearby "wet" market, where the virus began to spread.
A report published over the weekend blamed Trump's halting action and infighting in his administration for causing the delay in the US response, resulting in more deaths.
China's foreign ministry said on Thursday the World Health Organization has said there is no evidence that the coronavirus that has infected more than 2 million people globally was made in a lab.
Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian made the remark in response to a question about accusations the coronavirus originated in a lab in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, where the epidemic first emerged in late 2019.
Zhao told reporters during a daily briefing in Beijing that the World Health Organization's officials "have said multiple times there is no evidence the new coronavirus was created in a laboratory."
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