Sources tell Fox News that the Chinese were out to prove that they could match the U.S. in fighting contagions.
By World Israel News Staff
“There is increasing confidence that COVID-19 likely originated in a Wuhan laboratory,” Fox News’ Bret Baier reported on Wednesday evening. The news reinvigorates early theories that the coronavirus pandemic began in a Wuhan lab.
Sources told Fox News that evidence points to the Wuhan Institute of Virology, based on “classified and open-source documents and evidence.”
The virus was not grown as a bioweapon but as part of an effort by China to show that it was just as capable as the U.S. in combating viruses, multiple sources told Fox News.
The Daily Mail similarly reported that “The Wuhan lab was originally set up with assistance from the French and American governments, but in recent years the Chinese have rebuffed international assistance there and tried to prove their ability to work independently.”
Safety procedures were sloppy at the lab. U.S. Embassy officials warned in January 2018 about poor safety protocols, noting in particular risky studies linked with coronavirus pathogens in bats, The Washington Post reported on Wednesday.
The Fox report noted that the sources stressed that the intelligence isn’t definite. “Some inside the administration and the intelligence and epidemiological communities are more skeptical, and the investigation is continuing,” the report said.
Until now, it was generally accepted that a wet market located a few miles from the lab, where exotic creatures are sold for human consumption, was the source of the disease. Bats in particular were to blame. However, the wet market in Wuhan that was pinpointed, the Huanan Wholesale Seafood Market, didn’t sell bats.
Sources told Fox News that the Chinese government blamed the wet market “to deflect blame from the laboratory.” It might be the “costliest government coverup of all time,” one source told Fox News.
Sen. Tom Cotton, Republican from Arkansas, was one of the first to consider the possibility that the disease sprang from a Chinese lab in Wuhan. He was ridiculed in the press for his assertion, which was described as a “conspiracy theory” by The Washington Post and a “fringe theory” by The New York Times.
Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said of the reports about the lab on Tuesday: “It should be no surprise to you that we have taken a keen interest in that and we’ve had a lot of intelligence take a hard look at that. I would just say at this point, it’s inconclusive, although the weight of evidence seems to indicate natural [causes], but we don’t know for certain.”
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told Fox News on Wednesday, “What we do know is we know that this virus originated in Wuhan, China. We know there is the Wuhan Institute of Virology just a handful of miles away from where the wet market was. There is still lots to learn. You should know that the United States government is working diligently to figure it out.”