US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo released information in support of speculations that the coronavirus pandemic could arise in China’s government laboratories. This is stated in his written statement on the website of the State Department on Friday, January 15.
Pompeo addressed his statement to the inspectors of the World Health Organization (WHO). They previously arrived in China to investigate the causes of the coronavirus pandemic.
Pompeo noted that the United States has reason to believe that in the summer of 2019, long before the first reported case of coronavirus, several researchers at the Wuhan Institute of Virology became ill.
The secretary of state also announced the study of the RaTG13 bat coronavirus, which is more than 96% identical to SARS-CoV-19, at the institute since 2016. At the same time, Pompeo added that the institute did not report on possible “experiments to increase the infectivity or lethality” of the virus.
The head of the US State Department also reiterated that the pandemic could have been avoided, and also criticized China for not inviting world health experts to Wuhan in the days following the outbreak. In conclusion, Pompeo called for access to all facilities and data for WHO experts.
In early January, US Deputy National Security Adviser Matthew Pottinger said the coronavirus pandemic could have originated from a leak from a Chinese laboratory. According to him, this version is “the most reliable”, but he did not provide evidence for the theory and stressed that his judgments are based on “the latest intelligence data.”
At the end of December, Associated Press reporters published an investigation in which they said that the authorities of the People’s Republic of China are probably trying to classify all research on the coronavirus as a state secret.
In addition, in May 2020, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that Washington has “huge evidence” that the new coronavirus originated in a laboratory in Wuhan, but it has never been made public.
At the same time, Russian President Vladimir Putin assured that there are no grounds for building conspiracy theories about the origin of a new type of coronavirus.