Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Wednesday that the United States does not have “certainty” that the novel coronavirus came from a laboratory in China, despite saying on Sunday that there was “enormous evidence.”
“We don’t have certainty. And there is significant evidence that this can come from the laboratory. Those statements can both be true. … The American people will remain at risk because we don’t know,” Pompeo told reporters in a news conference Wednesday. He added: “There’s an easy way to find the answer to that: transparency and openness.”
During the press conference Pompeo continued his criticism of China’s handling of the pandemic, saying they could have prevented hundreds of thousands of people from dying. For the first time, Pompeo also accused Beijing of destroying samples of the virus during the early stages of the outbreak. He called on China to share their data on the outbreak.