Connect with us

Coronavirus (Covid-19)

WHO and intelligence community awaiting evidence from US President Trump about “Wuhan lab” claims

Thaiger

Published

 on 

image
SCREENGRAB: ABC TV

The World Health Organisation says they’re awaiting evidence to support “speculative” claims by the US President and Secretary of State that the new coronavirus originated in a Chinese lab in Wuhan.

The Five Eyes, a network involving UK, US, Australia, New Zealand and Canada intelligence officials, say they do believe that Beijing has not necessarily been transparent about how coronavirus initially spread in Wuhan at the turn of the year, but say they have seen no evidence linking the virus to any lab, or assertions that it is ‘man-made’.

The WHO’s emergencies director Michael Ryan says they hope the US leadership team can release evidence of their claims.

“We have not received any data or specific evidence from the United States government relating to the purported origin of the virus. So from our perspective, this remains speculative.”

And today, Australian intelligence agencies have also questioned evidence trumpeted by US officials supposedly linking the coronavirus to a Wuhan laboratory as concerns within the government grow that the push will derail efforts to eliminate dangerous wildlife wet markets.

Australian PM Scott Morrison said last Friday the Australian government “did not have strong evidence linking the Wuhan lab to the virus”.

Scientists generally believe the killer virus jumped from animals to humans, emerging in China late last year, possibly from a market in Wuhan selling exotic animals for meat.

But US President Donald Trump, increasingly ramping up the narrative that China mishandled the first outbreak, claims to have proof it started in a Wuhan laboratory. His Secretary of State Mike Pompeo then doubled down on the comments in a TV interview on Sunday (below) claiming that he had “enormous evidence” to “back up that claim”.

Asked by a reporter last week… “Have you seen anything at this point that gives you a high degree of confidence that the Wuhan Institute of Virology was the origin of this virus?”

President Trump replied… “Yes, I have. Yes, I have. And I think the World Health Organisation should be ashamed of themselves because they’re like the public relations agency for China.”

Asked later to clarify his comment, he said…”I can’t tell you that. I’m not allowed to tell you that.”

The US President’s comments forced the the Office of the Director of National Intelligence to make a rare public statement that… “it concurs with the wide scientific consensus regarding Covid-19’s natural origins. It was the first response from US intelligence debunking conspiracy theories that the virus is a biological weapon.

WHO’s Ryan stressed that this was a very important piece of public health information for future control.

“Like any evidence-based organisation, we would be very willing to receive any information that purports to the origin of the virus.”

“If that data and evidence is available, then it will be for the US government to decide whether and when it can be shared, but it is difficult for the WHO to operate in an information vacuum in that regard.”

“We need to understand more about that natural origin, and particularly about intermediate hosts.”

“Science needs to be at the centre. If we have a science-based investigation and a science-based enquiry as to what the origin species and the intermediate species are, then that will benefit everybody on the planet.”

The UN-based health agency, which is also facing scathing criticism from President Trump over accusations it initially downplayed the seriousness of the outbreak to shield China, has repeated that the virus clearly appears to have originated naturally from an animal source.

Maria Van Kerkhove, a WHO medical spokesperson, has stressed that there were some 15,000 full genome sequences of the novel coronavirus available.

“From all of the evidence that we have seen… this virus is of natural origin.”

Mr. Pompeo’s interview on the US ABC TV network on Sunday (discussion about China starts at 2.40).

 

Get more from The Thaiger

Looking for your next home in Thailand? Let us match you with a local expert in minutes!

Thank you for your interest!

One of our agents will
reach out to you soon.

I want to:
  • Thailand (ไทย)+66
  • United States+1
  • United Kingdom+44
  • Australia+61
  • Afghanistan (‫افغانستان‬‎)+93
  • Albania (Shqipëri)+355
  • Algeria (‫الجزائر‬‎)+213
  • American Samoa+1684
  • Andorra+376
  • Angola+244
  • Anguilla+1264
  • Antigua and Barbuda+1268
  • Argentina+54
  • Armenia (Հայաստան)+374
  • Aruba+297
  • Australia+61
  • Austria (Österreich)+43
  • Azerbaijan (Azərbaycan)+994
  • Bahamas+1242
  • Bahrain (‫البحرين‬‎)+973
  • Bangladesh (বাংলাদেশ)+880
  • Barbados+1246
  • Belarus (Беларусь)+375
  • Belgium (België)+32
  • Belize+501
  • Benin (Bénin)+229
  • Bermuda+1441
  • Bhutan (འབྲུག)+975
  • Bolivia+591
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina (Босна и Херцеговина)+387
  • Botswana+267
  • Brazil (Brasil)+55
  • British Indian Ocean Territory+246
  • British Virgin Islands+1284
  • Brunei+673
  • Bulgaria (България)+359
  • Burkina Faso+226
  • Burundi (Uburundi)+257
  • Cambodia (កម្ពុជា)+855
  • Cameroon (Cameroun)+237
  • Canada+1
  • Cape Verde (Kabu Verdi)+238
  • Caribbean Netherlands+599
  • Cayman Islands+1345
  • Central African Republic (République centrafricaine)+236
  • Chad (Tchad)+235
  • Chile+56
  • China (中国)+86
  • Christmas Island+61
  • Cocos (Keeling) Islands+61
  • Colombia+57
  • Comoros (‫جزر القمر‬‎)+269
  • Congo (DRC) (Jamhuri ya Kidemokrasia ya Kongo)+243
  • Congo (Republic) (Congo-Brazzaville)+242
  • Cook Islands+682
  • Costa Rica+506
  • Côte d’Ivoire+225
  • Croatia (Hrvatska)+385
  • Cuba+53
  • Curaçao+599
  • Cyprus (Κύπρος)+357
  • Czech Republic (Česká republika)+420
  • Denmark (Danmark)+45
  • Djibouti+253
  • Dominica+1767
  • Dominican Republic (República Dominicana)+1
  • Ecuador+593
  • Egypt (‫مصر‬‎)+20
  • El Salvador+503
  • Equatorial Guinea (Guinea Ecuatorial)+240
  • Eritrea+291
  • Estonia (Eesti)+372
  • Ethiopia+251
  • Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas)+500
  • Faroe Islands (Føroyar)+298
  • Fiji+679
  • Finland (Suomi)+358
  • France+33
  • French Guiana (Guyane française)+594
  • French Polynesia (Polynésie française)+689
  • Gabon+241
  • Gambia+220
  • Georgia (საქართველო)+995
  • Germany (Deutschland)+49
  • Ghana (Gaana)+233
  • Gibraltar+350
  • Greece (Ελλάδα)+30
  • Greenland (Kalaallit Nunaat)+299
  • Grenada+1473
  • Guadeloupe+590
  • Guam+1671
  • Guatemala+502
  • Guernsey+44
  • Guinea (Guinée)+224
  • Guinea-Bissau (Guiné Bissau)+245
  • Guyana+592
  • Haiti+509
  • Honduras+504
  • Hong Kong (香港)+852
  • Hungary (Magyarország)+36
  • Iceland (Ísland)+354
  • India (भारत)+91
  • Indonesia+62
  • Iran (‫ایران‬‎)+98
  • Iraq (‫العراق‬‎)+964
  • Ireland+353
  • Isle of Man+44
  • Israel (‫ישראל‬‎)+972
  • Italy (Italia)+39
  • Jamaica+1
  • Japan (日本)+81
  • Jersey+44
  • Jordan (‫الأردن‬‎)+962
  • Kazakhstan (Казахстан)+7
  • Kenya+254
  • Kiribati+686
  • Kosovo+383
  • Kuwait (‫الكويت‬‎)+965
  • Kyrgyzstan (Кыргызстан)+996
  • Laos (ລາວ)+856
  • Latvia (Latvija)+371
  • Lebanon (‫لبنان‬‎)+961
  • Lesotho+266
  • Liberia+231
  • Libya (‫ليبيا‬‎)+218
  • Liechtenstein+423
  • Lithuania (Lietuva)+370
  • Luxembourg+352
  • Macau (澳門)+853
  • Macedonia (FYROM) (Македонија)+389
  • Madagascar (Madagasikara)+261
  • Malawi+265
  • Malaysia+60
  • Maldives+960
  • Mali+223
  • Malta+356
  • Marshall Islands+692
  • Martinique+596
  • Mauritania (‫موريتانيا‬‎)+222
  • Mauritius (Moris)+230
  • Mayotte+262
  • Mexico (México)+52
  • Micronesia+691
  • Moldova (Republica Moldova)+373
  • Monaco+377
  • Mongolia (Монгол)+976
  • Montenegro (Crna Gora)+382
  • Montserrat+1664
  • Morocco (‫المغرب‬‎)+212
  • Mozambique (Moçambique)+258
  • Myanmar (Burma) (မြန်မာ)+95
  • Namibia (Namibië)+264
  • Nauru+674
  • Nepal (नेपाल)+977
  • Netherlands (Nederland)+31
  • New Caledonia (Nouvelle-Calédonie)+687
  • New Zealand+64
  • Nicaragua+505
  • Niger (Nijar)+227
  • Nigeria+234
  • Niue+683
  • Norfolk Island+672
  • North Korea (조선 민주주의 인민 공화국)+850
  • Northern Mariana Islands+1670
  • Norway (Norge)+47
  • Oman (‫عُمان‬‎)+968
  • Pakistan (‫پاکستان‬‎)+92
  • Palau+680
  • Palestine (‫فلسطين‬‎)+970
  • Panama (Panamá)+507
  • Papua New Guinea+675
  • Paraguay+595
  • Peru (Perú)+51
  • Philippines+63
  • Poland (Polska)+48
  • Portugal+351
  • Puerto Rico+1
  • Qatar (‫قطر‬‎)+974
  • Réunion (La Réunion)+262
  • Romania (România)+40
  • Russia (Россия)+7
  • Rwanda+250
  • Saint Barthélemy+590
  • Saint Helena+290
  • Saint Kitts and Nevis+1869
  • Saint Lucia+1758
  • Saint Martin (Saint-Martin (partie française))+590
  • Saint Pierre and Miquelon (Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon)+508
  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines+1784
  • Samoa+685
  • San Marino+378
  • São Tomé and Príncipe (São Tomé e Príncipe)+239
  • Saudi Arabia (‫المملكة العربية السعودية‬‎)+966
  • Senegal (Sénégal)+221
  • Serbia (Србија)+381
  • Seychelles+248
  • Sierra Leone+232
  • Singapore+65
  • Sint Maarten+1721
  • Slovakia (Slovensko)+421
  • Slovenia (Slovenija)+386
  • Solomon Islands+677
  • Somalia (Soomaaliya)+252
  • South Africa+27
  • South Korea (대한민국)+82
  • South Sudan (‫جنوب السودان‬‎)+211
  • Spain (España)+34
  • Sri Lanka (ශ්‍රී ලංකාව)+94
  • Sudan (‫السودان‬‎)+249
  • Suriname+597
  • Svalbard and Jan Mayen+47
  • Swaziland+268
  • Sweden (Sverige)+46
  • Switzerland (Schweiz)+41
  • Syria (‫سوريا‬‎)+963
  • Taiwan (台灣)+886
  • Tajikistan+992
  • Tanzania+255
  • Thailand (ไทย)+66
  • Timor-Leste+670
  • Togo+228
  • Tokelau+690
  • Tonga+676
  • Trinidad and Tobago+1868
  • Tunisia (‫تونس‬‎)+216
  • Turkey (Türkiye)+90
  • Turkmenistan+993
  • Turks and Caicos Islands+1649
  • Tuvalu+688
  • U.S. Virgin Islands+1340
  • Uganda+256
  • Ukraine (Україна)+380
  • United Arab Emirates (‫الإمارات العربية المتحدة‬‎)+971
  • United Kingdom+44
  • United States+1
  • Uruguay+598
  • Uzbekistan (Oʻzbekiston)+998
  • Vanuatu+678
  • Vatican City (Città del Vaticano)+39
  • Venezuela+58
  • Vietnam (Việt Nam)+84
  • Wallis and Futuna (Wallis-et-Futuna)+681
  • Western Sahara (‫الصحراء الغربية‬‎)+212
  • Yemen (‫اليمن‬‎)+967
  • Zambia+260
  • Zimbabwe+263
  • Åland Islands+358

image

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

If you have story ideas, a restaurant to review, an event to cover or an issue to discuss, contact The Thaiger editorial staff.

image

Follow Thaiger by email:

image
Thailand15 hours ago

Thailand News Today | Monk accused of embezzling 95 million baht

image
Bangkok15 hours ago

Thai taxi drivers protest against extended GrabBike deadline

image
World16 hours ago

North Korea says “unusual things” near border caused Covid-19 outbreak

image
Sponsored23 hours ago

The ultimate holiday destination at Four Points by Sheraton Phuket Patong Beach Resort

image
image
China16 hours ago

China and Taiwan offer conflicting views over Hong Kong rule

image
Songkhla17 hours ago

Songklha welcomes more Malaysian tourists after Thailand pass scrapped

image
Eastern Thailand17 hours ago

Police tracking down British nationals after March fire in eastern Thailand

image
Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
image
Phuket18 hours ago

UPDATE: 19 year old Australian falls to his death at a Phuket hotel

image
Tourism18 hours ago

Unlicensed pool villa in Pattaya raided by police

image
Transport18 hours ago

Pink and Yellow monorail lines will be in service in 2023

image
Weather19 hours ago

Storm ‘Chaba’ to impact Thailand, meteorologists say

image
Thailand19 hours ago

Thai healthcare staff demand reduction to 100 hour working week

image
World19 hours ago

Sri Lanka’s doctors and nurses demand fuel and medicine

image
Technology21 hours ago

Thai bank apps crash on payday causes customer outrage

image
Tourism21 hours ago

Goodbye, adios, good riddance Thailand Pass – OPINION

image
Crime22 hours ago

Bangkok abbot says he didn’t embezzle 95 million baht

image
Thailand10 months ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

image
Thailand1 year ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

image
Tourism1 year ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

image
Phuket1 year ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

image
Tourism1 year ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

image
Thailand1 year ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

image
Tourism1 year ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

image
Thailand1 year ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

image
Thailand1 year ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

image
Thailand1 year ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

image
Thailand1 year ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

image
Thailand1 year ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

image
Thailand1 year ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

image
Thailand1 year ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

image
Thailand1 year ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Trending

By continuing to use our site you consent to the use of cookies as described in our privacy policy.