Intelligence from US allies disputed President Donald Trump’s suggestion that the coronavirus may have originated from a laboratory in Wuhan, China, CNN reports.
Trump has claimed that he has seen evidence that gives him a “high degree of confidence” that the virus originated in the lab as he seeks to blame China for the health and economic crisis engulfing the United States and the rest of the world.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also claimed that he has seen “enormous evidence” that the outbreak originated in the lab.
“I can tell you that there is a significant amount of evidence that this came from that laboratory in Wuhan,” he said. “The best experts so far seem to think it was manmade. I have no reason to disbelieve that at this point.”
Intelligence agencies refute:
An intelligence report shared among the “Five Eyes” nations -- US, UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand -- says it is “highly unlikely” the virus originated in the lab, according to CNN.
"We think it's highly unlikely it was an accident," a diplomatic official told the outlet. "It is highly likely it was naturally occurring and that the human infection was from natural human and animal interaction.
Fauci rejects claims:
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top infectious disease expert in the country, told National Geographic on Monday that he doesn’t believe the virus originated in the lab.
"If you look at the evolution of the virus in bats and what's out there now, (the scientific evidence) is very, very strongly leaning toward this could not have been artificially or deliberately manipulated,” he said. "... Everything about the stepwise evolution over time strongly indicates that (this virus) evolved in nature and then jumped species."