Pentagon chief pours cold water on theory that coronavirus was released from a Wuhan lab, despite Trump admin investigation
- Defense Secretary
Mark Esperhas said "a majority of the views" on the origins of the coronavirusare still that it naturally emerged in Wuhan, in an interview on NBC's Today show.
- On Tuesday, the Trump administration confirmed it is looking into the possibility the virus was accidentally released from a Wuhan virology lab.
- It followed news that in 2018, US scientific diplomats sent back safety warnings about the lab, which had been researching coronaviruses in bats and humans.
- Although Esper said it was now hard to trust the Chinese government, but that results are as yet "inconclusive" about the origins of the virus.
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Defense Secretary Mark Esper took a cautious line on the theory that the coronavirus was released from a Wuhan virology lab, after the Trump administration confirmed that it was investigating that possibility.Esper said that "a majority of the views right now is that it is natural, it is organic," in an interview on NBC's Today show on Thursday night. His comments echoed Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen.
After this, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo confirmed that the government was investigating the possibility the lab accidentally released the virus. China denies this.
It, and most scientists, favour the theory that the virus emerged in bats and was transmitted to humans in one of the city's wet markets, as Business Insider's Aylin Woodward reported.Speaking to NBC on Thursday, Esper said it was hard to trust the Chinese state on this matter. "We do know one thing: If the Chinese government, the party, had been more transparent earlier, it would have helped us in terms of staying ahead of this virus ... To this day, they need to be far more forthright than what they've been." On Wednesday, it emerged that the Chinese state had learned in mid-January that the virus could spread between humans, but sat on the information for six days. At the same time it said that it did not believe human-to-human transmission was possible.
On NBC Esper, like Milley, did not fuel further speculation about the origins of the virus, saying the
"I think we need to continue to work this, and once we get beyond the pandemic we'll have a chance to look back and really find out what happened."Read the original article on Business Insider
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