China hits back at FBI claim that Wuhan lab leak likely caused COVID
China hits back at FBI claim that Wuhan lab leak likely caused global COVID outbreak – still no consensus from U.S. intelligence community as to pandemic origins
- ‘No credibility whatsoever’ says China after FBI Director Christopher Wray told Fox News that the origins of COVID came from ‘a potential lab incident in Wuhan’
- U.S. Energy Department and FBI share similar conclusions, but other intelligence agencies have different theories, including natural transmission
- ‘We urge the U.S. side to respect science and facts, said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning told reporters in Beijing on Wednesday
China denounced comments made by FBI Director Christopher Wray on Wednesday for his agency’s assessment that a leak from a laboratory in the central Chinese city of Wuhan likely caused the COVID pandemic, a claim China said had ‘no credibility whatsoever.’
‘The FBI has for quite some time now assessed that the origins of the pandemic are most likely a potential lab incident in Wuhan,’ Wray told Fox News.
‘Based on the poor track record of fraud and deception of the U.S. intelligence community, the conclusions they draw have no credibility whatsoever,’ Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning fired back to reporters in Beijing.
‘…We urge the U.S. side to respect science and facts.’
China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning denounces FBI Director Christopher Wray’s comments as not credible. Wray told FOX News that the agency now believes COVID probably originated from Wuhan lab leak
FBI Director Christopher Wray commented for the first time that the FBI concluded that COVID originated from a lab in Wuhan, China
Despite the FBI’s conclusion, Wray added that Beijing has continuously tried to undercut the US government’s work.
‘I will just make the observation that the Chinese government, it seems to me, has been doing its best to try to thwart and obfuscate the work here, the work that we’re doing, the work that our US government and close foreign partners are doing, and that’s unfortunate for everybody,’ he told Fox.
Wray said the work was conducted by top FBI and US government experts who specialize in monitoring potential outbreaks.
‘The FBI has folks, agents, professionals, analysts, virologists, microbiologists, etc, who focus, specifically, on the dangers of biological threats, which includes things like novel viruses like COVID, and the concerns that in the wrong hands some bad guys, some hostile nation state, a terrorist, a criminal, the threats that that could pose,’ Wray said.
‘So here, you’re talking about a leak at a Chinese government-controlled lab that killed millions of Americans, and that’s precisely what that capability was designed for.’
Wray said he couldn’t share many details of the agency´s assessment because they were classified.
In addition to the FBI, the Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday that the U.S. Energy Department had assessed with low confidence that the pandemic resulted from an unintended lab leak in China.
Four other agencies – and a national intelligence panel – still judge that the pandemic was likely the result of natural transmission, and two are undecided.
With the mixed conclusions coming from US agencies, the White House on Monday was forced to admit no definitive answer as to the pandemic’s origins.
‘There is not a consensus right now in the U.S. government about exactly how it started. There’s just not an intelligence community consensus,’ said national security spokesman Adm. John Kirby.
Kirby pointed to that lack of agreement, even as the White House defended infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci’s blasts against conspiracy theories and refused to say how the US might act against China if the theory that its labs were responsible holds up.
The virus was first identified in Wuhan in December 2019 before spreading around the world and killing nearly 7 million people.
Wray said the virus was likely the result of a lab leak and that the Chinese government has worked to undermine his agency’s work
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning blasted what she termed ‘politicization’ of theories on the origins of COVID-19, after an Energy Department analysis that pointed to possibility of a leak from the Wuhan lab
Virologist Shi Zheng-li – nicknamed the ‘Bat Lady’ – is pictured in the lab. She hunted down dozens of deadly COVID-like viruses in bat caves and studied them at the WIV
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