Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Sunday that the United States government has “a tremendous amount of evidence” that the new coronavirus originated in a laboratory in the Chinese city of Wuhan, something that Beijing denies.
“I can tell you that there is a significant amount of evidence that this came from that laboratory in Wuhan,” Pompeo said during an interview with ABC News.
The secretary of state insisted that the amount of evidence is “enormous” despite the fact that US intelligence agencies said this week that they are still examining that possibility and have not reached a conclusion.RELATED
Pompeo went on to say at one point in the interview that “the best experts seem to think that (the coronavirus) was man-made,” an idea that the Office of the United States Director of National Intelligence (DNI) flatly dismissed in a statement. this Thursday.
When the interviewer reminded him of that point, Pompeo seemed to correct himself by saying that he “agrees” with that consensus from the intelligence community and has “no reason to doubt that it is correct.”
However, the Foreign Minister said it is not clear if the new coronavirus was intentionally released or if it was an accident in Wuhan’s laboratory.
“The Chinese Communist Party continues to block access (to its laboratories) to the western world, to the best scientists in the world, to find out what exactly happened,” he stressed.
“We have to go in there. We still don’t have the virus samples we need,” he added.
Asked whether the United States plans to retaliate against China for its efforts to “hide from the world” the severity of the crisis at its origins, Pompeo hinted that it did, stating that Beijing “created enormous risk.”
“We will hold those responsible to account, and we will do so when we decide,” he said.
As reported this week by The Washington Post, the White House is debating proposals to punish China or demand financial compensation for its management of the COVID-19 pandemic.
While Washington claims that the virus originated in a Chinese laboratory, some Chinese authorities have promoted the theory that US soldiers introduced the disease during their participation in the Wuhan World Military Games last October, something the United States rejects.