China's foreign ministry Thursday told reporters the World Health Organization has said there is no evidence the coronavirus outbreak came from a laboratory, according to a report.
Spokesman Zhao Lijian was responding to a question about accusations the virus originated from a lab in Wuhan, China, according to Reuters.
Fox News reported Wednesday that there is increasing confidence the COVID-19 outbreak likely started in a Wuhan laboratory. Sources said it may have been part of an effort by China to show that its efforts to identify and combat viruses are equal to or greater than the capabilities of the United States.
President Trump Wednesday told Fox News’ John Roberts the administration is doing a “very thorough examination of this horrible situation” in light of the reporting.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also told Fox News the government “is working diligently” to find out where it came from.
The sources, who have been briefed on the details of early actions by China's government and seen relevant materials, said patient zero is thought to have worked at the lab and contracted the virus from a bat.
One of the sources added it could be the "costliest government coverup of all time.”
Additionally, the sources said the WHO was complicit from the beginning in helping China cover its tracks.
Trump announced Wednesday the U.S. is halting funding to the WHO over its handling of the crisis, adding that the organization ignored "credible" information in December that the virus could be transmitted from person to person.
“I would just say at this point, it's inconclusive, although the weight of evidence seems to indicate natural, but we don't know for certain,” Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said regarding Washington Post reporting that said U.S. embassy officials warned about inadequate safety at a lab in Wuhan and about risky coronavirus testing being done on bats in 2018.
Secretary of Defense Mark Esper told Fox News, “most people believe it began naturally -- it was organic, if you will. I think in due course, once we get through the pandemic we're in right now, there'll be time to look back and really ascertain what happened and make sure we have a better understanding so we can prevent this in the future."
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The virus was first discovered in Wuhan in December 2019 before it quickly spread through China and the rest of the world, infecting more than 2 million and killing more than 133,000 as of Thursday morning.
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