State Secretary Mike Pompeo said the US had little assurance as to the sources of the coronavirus pandemic, after saying there was “enormous evidence” over the weekend that the virus originated in a Chinese laboratory.
While he admitted that he could not be certain, Pompeo continued to drive his argument to the laboratory, challenging the leading hypothesis among intelligence experts and foreign observers that the virus had come into human contact on a wet market. Assessments shared by U.S. allies in intelligence cooperation have suggested that the virus originated in a laboratory is “extremely doubtful.” The US intelligence community has said that all options are being investigated.
Pompeo doubles his assertion
Later on Wednesday evening in an interview on Fox News, Pompeo doubled on his assertion that he had “seen proof that this actually originated from the Wuhan Institute of Virology,” but added that he would be “happy to see evidence that disproves that.”
The top US diplomat has maintained an offensive line of attack on China’s treatment of the virus. While the Trump administration tries to divert criticism for its reaction to the outbreak. That has also already killed over 71,000 Americans and slowed the economy in the critical months ahead of the presidential election.
Pompeo also maintained that there was no inconsistency between his stance and other senior US officials’ statements that put doubt on his theory.
“We’re not aware,” Pompeo said at a State Department press conference Wednesday. “And there is substantial proof that this comes from the laboratories. Those claims may be all true. I’ve heard them all. They’ve been made by people from the government. They’re both real,” he added.
Pompeo said the diverse responses from himself, top US military officers, Five Eyes agents. And the intelligence community were “no isolation”. The intelligence community “is also trying to find out just when this epidemic originated,” Pompeo said.
“We’re all trying to find out the right solution,” he said. “Trying to get clarity”. “We’re measuring various degrees of confidence at various sites. That’s also very acceptable. We look at data sets and come to varying levels of faith. All of them looks at that and understands the truth. The truth of this also comes from Wuhan.”