Tuesday, 05 May 2020 9:13 PM [ Tuesday, 05 May 2020 9:43 PM ]
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley speaks during the daily briefing on the novel coronavirus, covid-19, in the Brady Briefing Room at the White House on April 1, 2020, in Washington, DC. (Photo by AFP)
A top US general says it is still unknown whether the coronavirus emerged from a wet market in China, a laboratory or some other location, but reaffirmed the US view that it was probably not man-made.
“Did it come out of the virology lab in Wuhan? Did it occur in a wet market there in Wuhan? Did it occur somewhere else? And the answer to that is: We don’t know,” Army General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told a news conference on Tuesday, adding the US government was looking into it.
The remarks stood in contrast to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s assessment on Sunday that there was “a significant amount of evidence” that the new coronavirus emerged from a Chinese laboratory.Trump says virus may have originated in China lab, threatens tariffsUS President Trump has threatened China with new tariffs amid the coronavirus outbreak he blames Beijing for.
The US President Donald Trump’s administration has been sharpening his rhetoric against China since the new coronavirus emerged in Wuhan in December last year and grew into a global pandemic.
Meanwhile, the New York Times has reported that the White House is putting pressure on American intelligence agencies to provide evidence in support of Trump’s claims about the deadly virus being a laboratory construct.
In February, China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology dismissed rumors that the virus may have been artificially synthesized at one of its laboratories or perhaps escaped from such a facility.
Trump once again claimed on Thursday he was confident the coronavirus may have originated in a Chinese virology lab, but declined to elaborate.
WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump on Friday sought to clarify remarks he made about the possibility of people being injected with disinfectant as a possible treatment for the novel coronavirus, claiming he was speaking sarcastically.
“I was asking a question sarcastically to reporters, like you, just to see what would happen,” Trump said on Friday during a bill signing in the Oval Office.
“I was asking a sarcastic, and a very sarcastic question, to the reporters in the room about disinfectant on the inside, but it does kill it, and it would kill it on the hands and that would make things much better. That was done in the form of a sarcastic question to the reporters,” he continued.