US intelligence agencies have concluded that the new coronavirus & # 39; is not man-made or genetically modified & # 39; was, but they say they are still investigating whether the origin of the pandemic trace is to contact infected animals or an accident at a Chinese lab.
The statement by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the clearinghouse for the web of US spy agencies, comes as President Donald Trump and his allies have touted the as-yet-unproven theory that a lab for Disease infection in Wuhan, the epicenter of the Chinese outbreak, was the source of the global pandemic that has killed more than 220,000 worldwide.
The statement was made shortly after claims in the New York Times revealed that intelligence analysts were concerned that intelligence could be disturbed to fit a pre-determined conclusion.
In recent days, the Trump administration has sharpened its rhetoric on China, accusing its geopolitical enemy and vital trading partner of failing to act fast enough to stop the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19 the alarm to the world sounds about the outbreak.
& # 39; The Intelligence Community also agrees with the broad scientific consensus that the COVID-19 virus is not human or genetically modified, & # 39; said the statement.
Investigate further: The US intelligence community says it is probing whether the coronavirus could have accidentally leaked from this lab in Wuhan
Proximity: The virus is linked to a wet market in Wuhan, which is sold wild for meat. U.S. officials have flagged that it was a & # 39; few miles & # 39; is from the virology laboratory
Mystery: The path to obtaining the coronavirus in humans remains unclear despite advances in knowledge of the virus itself (left) seen in a simulation and (right) under an electron microscope
& # 39; The IC will continue to investigate emerging information and intelligence strictly to determine if the outbreak began through contact with infected animals or if it was the result of an accident at a laboratory in Wuhan. & # 39;
Trump addressed the theory earlier this month, saying, & # 39; More and more, we hear the story. & # 39; Secretary of State Mike Pompeo added, & # 39; The mere fact that we do not know the answers – that China did not share the answers – I think is very, very telling. & # 39;
Pompeo also pressured China to allow experts from outside the lab & # 39; so we can pinpoint exactly where & # 39; this virus started. & # 39;
Scientists say the virus naturally originated in bats.
Even Pompeo and others have pointed fingers at an institute run by the Chinese Academy of Sciences.
It has pioneering research into tracing & # 39; s likely origins of the SARS virus, finding new bat viruses, and discovering how they can jump to humans.
& # 39; We know that the Wuhan Institute of Virology is only a few miles away from where & # 39; t was the wet market, & # 39; said Pompeo two weeks ago. The institute has an address 8 miles, like 13 miles, of & # 39; e market.
U.S. officials say the U.S. embassy in Beijing is concerned about potential security issues at the Wuhan lab in 2018, but have yet to find any evidence that the virus originated there nearly two years later.
Questions: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said earlier this month, & # 39; The mere fact that we do not know the answers – that China does not share the answers – I think is very, very telling. & # 39;
The Chinese government said Thursday that claims that the coronavirus were released from a laboratory & # 39; unfounded and purely manufactured from nothing & # 39; is.
Foreign Ministry spokeswoman quoted the institute's director, Yuan Zhiming, as saying that the lab is implementing strict bio-security procedures that would prevent the release of any pathogen.
& # 39; I want to reiterate that the origin of the virus is a complex scientific problem, and that it should be investigated by scientists and professionals, & # 39; said Geng.
Geng also criticized US politicians who suggested that China should be held accountable for the global pandemic, saying they should devote their time to & # 39; better control of & # 39; e situation of epidemic at home. & # 39;
But a Chinese government spokesman, Zhao Lijian, demonstrated that China was not above seed confusion in the face of the pandemic. He tweeted in March the fallacy that the virus may have come from the US military.
If the Trump administration were to find evidence that a link was firmly established to the Chinese government laboratory, it would strengthen its case for & # 39; repairs & # 39; that didn't make Trump public in public this week.
He said Wednesday that the US will take strong action against China because he ordered investigations into Beijing after proving that they knew more about the threat of coronavirus earlier than left and could have done more to curb the pandemic stop.
& # 39; We come up with a very different recommendation. But we are not happy with it, & # 39; Trump said about possible economic impact on China.
& # 39; There is nothing positive about what happened in China with this topic. Nothing positive, & # 39; said the president.
& # 39; We are fortunate that we stopped it in January with the export of our country from China, & # 39; said Trump, praising his decision to end China's trip to the U.S. earlier this year – unless US citizens were allowed to return home.
The president said the World Health Organization acted as it did for China, saying he & # 39; recommends & # 39; would spend on how to deal with WHO and China.
A Wednesday morning report revealed that the White House ordered intelligence investigations into whether China was initially & # 39; the emerging threat of & # 39; a coronavirus suppressed and concealed, in a Wednesday report, that Donald Trump remains blamed for the pandemic's size.
& # 39; It's coming in and I'm already getting stuff, & # 39; said Trump about the investigations of the & # 39; NSA, the CIA and the Defense Intelligence Agency. & # 39; And we are not happy with that. & # 39;
& # 39; We are by far the largest participant in WHO world health. And they offended us, & # 39; he said, confirming that he feels WHO also lied about what they already knew early about the virus. & # 39; I don't know – they need to know more than they knew. & # 39;
& # 39; We knew things they didn't know – or they didn't know or they didn't tell us, & # 39; he continued. & # 39; At the moment, they are literally a pipe organ for China. That's the way I look at it. That, we see and we see and we see. & # 39;
& # 39; Again, we give $ 500 million – we have over the years – of $ 400- $ 500 for a long time, many years. And China gives $ 38 million, and yet they seem to be working for China, & # 39; he complained.
Intelligence agencies received guidelines from the White House last week in search of information on the early days of the coronavirus outbreak, including communications interviewers, human resource reporting, and China and WHO satellite imagery, current and Former officials familiar with the allegations told NBC News.
One officer revealed that the & # 39; tasking & # 39; last week was sent to the National Agency for Security and Defense Intelligence Agency, which includes the National Center for Medical Agency.
The CIA also received a similar request, officials said.
Why did China build a virus lab in Wuhan?
A worker is seen in the P4 laboratory at the Wuhan Institute of Virology in Wuhan on February 23, 2017
Chinese officials decided to build the Wuhan Institute of Virology after the country was destroyed by an outbreak of SARS in 2002 and 2003.
SARS, another type of coronavirus, killed 775 people and infected more than 8,000 worldwide in an epidemic that lasted about eight months.
It took the Chinese 15 years to complete the project, costing a total of 300 million yuan (£ 34 million). The French helped design the building.
The Crown Jewel is a four-layer lab with the highest level of biosecurity of P4.
It is the most advanced laboratory of its kind in China.
Construction of the lab was completed in 2015 and it officially opened on January 5, 2018, following the passing of various security inspections.
With the description of & # 39; meaning of the P4 lab, China Youth Online has paid for it as & # 39; the & # 39; aircraft carrier of & # 39; e virology of China & # 39;. The state newspaper said it was & # 39; able to investigate the deadliest pathogens & # 39 ;.
One researcher, Zhou Peng, told state news agency Xinhua in 2018: & # 39; We are proud to say that we are already at & # 39; are foreground in the field of studying the immunity mechanism of bats that transmit viruses for a long time.
& # 39; Bats carry viruses but are not infected by them. (They) give hope for humanity to study how to fight phytos. & # 39;
Top Chinese official cites Donald Trump's demand for repairs on & # 39; blackmail & # 39; of coronavirus and says that America had plenty of comments that crisis was coming
China suggested Tuesday that Donald Trump & # 39; blackmails & # 39; has been blamed by Beijing for the coronavirus pandemic and demands that they pay compensation to & # 39; the U.S.
Le Yucheng, China's foreign minister, told NBC News in an interview released Wednesday morning that Trump's demands were & # 39; unreasonable & # 39; are and a & # 39; political farce & # 39; present.
& # 39; Asking China to make repairs for these types of claims – they have no legal basis. There is no international law that supports the debt of a country just to be the first to report an illness, "Le said.
Trump demanded during his briefing Tuesday that China pay repairs to the US for coronavirus damage, but said a definitive billing number had not yet been decided.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said he is reassuring that other countries are also launching investigations into China & # 39; s early treatment of coronavirus and requiring compensation – and he dismissed Le & # 39; s comments as & # 39; classic communist disinformation. & # 39;
& # 39; What the Chinese Communist Party did here and did not prevent the spread of this to & # 39; a world that & # 39; s responsible for them, America should hold them accountable, & # 39; Pompeo told Fox & Friends Wednesday morning.
Foreign Vice President Le Yucheng (pictured) compared Donald Trump with claim of compensation for China's coronavirus outbreak to & # 39; blackmail & # 39;
Trump demanded Monday that China pay compensation for damage caused by coronavirus, which he says could have been prevented if Beijing were more concerned about the severity of the disease
& # 39; I heard that Australia, other countries joining us, are asking for an investigation, because although we know this started in Wuhan, China, & # 39; he said. & # 39; We still don't know where it & # 39; s started, and despite our best efforts to get experts on & # 39; get to the ground, try to hide them and hide them. That's wrong. & # 39;
& # 39; It remains a threat to the world, and we all need to get to the bottom of what actually happened here, not just for the present moment, but to make sure that something doesn't happen again, & # 39; the head of the & # 39; s state department went through.
While Le, 57, in the interview, conducted in Mandarin, said he would not object to scientific research into & # 39; the origin of the virus, he demanded that it be held & # 39; conspiracy theories & # 39 ;.
& # 39; We are not against normal communication and mutual learning between scientists, & # 39; he said. & # 39; What we are up against is random investigations based on the suspicion of & # 39; e debt from China. That is something that we are firmly opposed to. & # 39;
Trump has shifted his tone from praising China for its handling of coronavirus, to the debt of & # 39; the Asian nation for enlarging & # 39; a seriousness by not being transparent about the disease earlier in the outbreak.
& # 39; I want to say that China has not revealed anything. We did not cause any delay, & # 39; Le said.
He also praised his own decision to ban travel from China to the US in the & # 39; middle of & # 39; an outbreak despite political pushback, because it was already early in the pandemic before the real threat became known.
Le told NBC News that Trump was trying to politicize the virus and denied any accusations that China was trying to cover the first outbreak.
Instead, he referred to the pandemic as a & # 39; natural disaster & # 39; and he suggested that Beijing cannot be held financially liable for COVID-19.
& # 39; On January 23, when Wuhan went under lockdown, the United States reported only one confirmed case, but on March 13, when President Trump announced a national emergency, the United States reported more than 1,600 confirmed cases, & # 39; said Le in refusing to take debt away from Beijing.
& # 39; What did the US government do during this 50-day interval? Where are those 50 days away? & # 39; he continued.
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