President Donald Trump, on Thursday, claimed that he had seen information indicating the Wuhan Institute of Virology is behind the COVID-19 outbreak.
Wuhan is the Chinese city where the COVID-19 outbreak began
The US, among others, blamed China for the coronavirus pandemic, saying the country did not alert the rest of the world to the disease in time and that it mismanaged the spread of the virus, but China has repeatedly denied these allegations.
The US president made the claim while speaking with journalists from the White House on Thursday. He, however, did not provide any details to back up his claim.
“Yes I have,” Trump responded when asked if he had seen any information that the virus originated from the laboratory, adding that the “World Health Organisation should be ashamed of themselves”.
Asked to provide more details, the US president replied: “I can’t tell you that. I’m not allowed to tell you that.”
The office of the director of national intelligence earlier said it “will continue to rigorously examine emerging information and intelligence to determine whether the outbreak began through contact with infected animals or if it was the result of an accident at a laboratory in Wuhan”.
It, however, said it agreed “with the wide scientific consensus that the COVID-19 virus was not man-made or genetically modified”.
Defending its focus on the Chinese lab, the Hogan Gidley, White House spokesman, had said: As the president has said, the United States is thoroughly investigating this matter.”
“Understanding the origins of the virus is important to help the world respond to this pandemic but also to inform rapid-response efforts to future infectious disease outbreaks.”
The US has the highest number of COVID-19 infections and deaths globally — with 1,095,304 confirmed cases and 63,871 deaths.
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