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Pompeo says ‘enormous evidence’ coronavirus originated in Wuhan lab

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Issued on: 03/05/2020 – 17:00Modified: 03/05/2020 – 17:00

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Sunday there was "enormous evidence" that the coronavirus pandemic originated in a laboratory in Wuhan, China, echoing a claim made by President Donald Trump earlier this week.

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"There is enormous evidence that this is where it began," the US secretary of state said on ABC's "This Week."

"These are not the first times that we've had a world exposed to viruses as a result of failures in a Chinese lab," Pompeo added, pointing at China's "history of running substandard laboratories."

Though highly critical of China's handling of the matter, Pompeo declined to say whether he thought the virus had been intentionally released.

Speaking at the White House on Thursday, Trump also claimed he had seen evidence that the virus originated in a Chinese lab, ratcheting up tensions with Beijing over the origins of the deadly outbreak.

"Yes, yes I have," Trump said when asked if he had seen evidence that gave him a "high degree of confidence" the virus came from the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

The US president declined to give specifics, adding: "I can't tell you that. I'm not allowed to tell you that."

The Chinese state-backed Wuhan Institute of Virology has dismissed the allegations, and other US officials have downplayed their likelihood. Most experts believe the virus originated in a market selling wildlife in Wuhan and jumped from animals to people.

Pompeo himself had appeared to cast doubt on Trump's claims, stating Read More – Source