The US is looking into reports that the novel coronavirus, which has killed more than 150,000 people globally, “escaped” from a virology laboratory in China’s Wuhan city, President Donald Trump has said.
The US has been conducting a full-scale investigation into whether the deadly virus “escaped” from the Wuhan Institute of Virology, Fox News said in an exclusive report, adding that intelligence operatives were reportedly gathering information about the laboratory and the initial outbreak of the pathogen.
“We’re looking at it, a lot of people are looking at it. It seems to make sense,” Trump told reporters at a White House news conference on Friday when asked if there was an investigation into whether the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) escaped from a lab in Wuhan, China.
“They talk about a certain kind of bat, but that bat wasn’t in that area if you can believe this,” he claimed. “That bat wasn’t sold at that wet zone…. That bat is 40 miles away.”
Intelligence analysts are piecing together a timeline of what the government knew and “creating an accurate picture of what happened”, the news channel quoted sources as saying.
“A lot of strange things are happening, but there is a lot of investigation going on and we are going to find out,” Trump said. “All I can say is wherever it came from, came from China in whatever form, 184 countries now are suffering because of it.”
Trump added that the US would end its grant to a level-IV lab in Wuhan.
“(The) Obama administration gave them a grant of USD 3.7 million,” the president said. “We will end that grant very quickly.”
Source: The Economics Times