The United States does not rule out that the new coronavirus, which is at the origin of the pandemic that has already killed over 140,000 people in the world, comes – despite its natural origin – from a Chinese laboratory in Wuhan and evokes an “investigation”.
“We are conducting an exhaustive investigation into all we can find out about how this virus has spread, contaminated the world and caused such a tragedy,” US diplomatic chief Mike Pompeo told Fox News.
The new coronavirus would appear at the end of 2019 in an open-air market in the Chinese city of Wuhan, where exotic live animals are being sold.
Experts have found that he is close to a virus present in bats – which would have mutated and transmitted to a species sold in the market, where the virus would then have infected people.
However, the intermediate animal was not identified with certainty.
However, two US publications have revealed in recent days information that opens another track.
According to The Washington Post, the US Embassy in Beijing alerted the State Department two years ago – following several visits to the Wuhan Institute of Virology – about insufficient security measures at this laboratory, who was studying coronavirus in bats.
But, especially, Fox News reveals that “several sources” – whose nature does not specify – now believes that the current coronavirus comes from this laboratory.
Unlike several conspiracy theses – widely rejected by experts – that would be a pathogen created by the Chinese authorities – possibly a bacteriological weapon -, this conservative American post, Donald Trump’s favorite, evokes a natural virus, studied in the laboratory.
His “escape” would not have been wanted, but because of the deficient security protocols at this institute, which should, however, comply with the strictest rules.
In this hypothesis, the “zero patient” would, therefore, be an employee of the laboratory, which would spread the virus to the population after it was accidentally contaminated.
Asked about this information on Thursday, a Chinese diplomacy spokesman, Zhao Lijian, denied this possibility.
“Many reputable medical experts in the world estimate that the so-called escape hypothesis has no scientific basis,” he said, saying that the origin of the virus needs to be studied by specialists.
But the peak of the American state – which refuses to exclude it – seems to prove this track.
Donald Trump, asked at the White House on Wednesday about this, was elusive.
“I can tell you that we hear this story more and more. We will see, ”said the head of the American state, who assured that this“ horrible situation ”is the subject of a“ very thorough examination ”.
His Secretary of State did not deny any information disclosed by the Washington Post or Fox News.
“Only the fact that we have to ask these questions, only the fact that we do not know their answers, that China did not share the answers, that says a lot,” Pompeo said.
“What we do know is that this virus was born in Wuhan,” 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 much to learn, “he insisted.
The head of US diplomacy is at the forefront of denouncing China’s lack of transparency – possibly a “concealment” operation in Beijing, with the aim of initially “hiding” the severity of the virus.
He called it “the Wuhan virus” for a long time, after which he stopped using this formula that irritates Beijing, following an informal armistice between Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping in the war between the two big powers over the pandemic.
Does Mike Pompeo politely use questions asked by Fox News to further deepen his rival in the United States?
US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper and Chief of Staff Mark Milley, however, have been more cautious about the origin of the virus.
“A majority of elements, at this stage, show that he is natural, of natural origin,” Esper said. Milley seemed to reject “rumors and speculation” and gave assurances that nothing currently allows these assumptions to be confirmed.
“But we are not sure of anything,” General Milley added.