US, WASHINGTON (ORDO NEWS) — The United States does not exclude that the coronavirus at the origin of the pandemic which has already killed more than 137,000 people in the world comes, although of natural origin, from a Chinese laboratory in Wuhan , and evoke an “investigation” to shed light.
“We are conducting a full investigation into everything we can learn about how this virus has spread, infected the world and caused such a tragedy,” said US Foreign Minister Mike Pompeo on Fox TV. News.
The new coronavirus is believed to have appeared in late 2019 in an open-air market in the Chinese city of Wuhan, where live exotic animals are sold.
Experts have discovered that it is close to a virus found in bats, which has mutated and transmitted to one of the species sold on the market, from where the virus then infected humans. The intermediate animal has not been identified with certainty.
Suddenly, two American media have however reported in recent days information that opens another avenue.
According to the Washington Post, the United States Embassy in Beijing, following several visits to the Wuhan Institute of Virology, had twice alerted the American State Department 2 years ago insufficient safety measures in this laboratory which studied coronaviruses in bats.
– Chinese disclaimer –
Above all, Fox News reports that “several sources”, whose chain does not specify the nature, now think that the current coronavirus emanates from the same laboratory.
Unlike several conspiracy theories widely denied by experts, according to which it could have been a pathogenic agent created by the Chinese authorities, or even a bacteriological weapon, this American conservative media evokes a natural virus, studied in the laboratory.
His “flight” would not be voluntary, but due to the poor security protocols of this institute, which is supposed to respect the strictest standards. In this hypothesis, the “zero patient” would therefore be an employee of the laboratory, who would have spread the virus in the population after having been accidentally contaminated.
Questioned Thursday, a spokesperson for Chinese diplomacy, Zhao Lijian, denied this possibility.
“Many reputable medical experts around the world believe that the supposed leakage has no scientific basis,” he said, saying that the origin of the virus should be investigated. specialist studies.
But the top of the American state, by refusing to exclude it, seems to accredit this track.
– Political use? –
Questioned Wednesday in the White House, Donald Trump was evasive.
“I can tell you that we are hearing more and more of this story. We will see,” replied the American president, ensuring that this “horrible situation” was the subject of “very close examination”.
His secretary of state did not deny him information from the Washington Post or Fox News.
“Just the fact that you have to ask these questions, just the fact that we don’t know the answers, that China hasn’t shared the answers, says a lot,” said Pompeo.
“What we do know is that this virus was born in Wuhan, China,” he said.
“What we do know is that the Wuhan Institute of Virology is only a few kilometers from the street market. There is still a lot to learn,” he said.
The head of American diplomacy is on the front line to denounce the lack of transparency of the Chinese, even an operation of “concealment” of Beijing to “hide” initially the gravity of the virus.
He long called it “Wuhan virus”, before ceasing to use this formula which annoys Beijing following an informal truce Trump-Xi at the end of March in the war of words between the two great powers on the responsibilities around of the pandemic.
Does Mike Pompeo make political use of the questions raised by Fox News to drive the point home with regard to the great rival of the United States?
Defense Minister Mark Esper and Chief of Staff Mark Milley have in any case been more cautious about the origin of the virus.
“A majority of the evidence at this point indicates that it was natural, of natural origin,” said the first. The second seemed to sweep “rumors and speculation”, ensuring that there was nothing in the state to confirm these assumptions.
“But we are not sure of anything,” added General Milley.
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