The World Health Organisation (WHO) has said that till now, the US has not provided any evidence to back up its claims that the COVID-19 virus originated in a lab in Wuhan, China.
“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,” WHO emergencies director Michael Ryan told a virtual briefing.
Scientists 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 U.S. President Donald Trump, increasingly critical of China’s management of the first outbreak, claims to have proof it started in a Wuhan laboratory.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had earlier this week claimed that there is more than enormous evidence to suggest that the coronavirus originated from the virology laboratory in Wuhan.
Pompeo’s statement came during an interview on American Network television on May 3.
“There is enormous evidence that this is where it began,” Pompeo had said.
“We took a lot of grief for that from the outset. But I think the whole world can see now. Remember, China has a history of infecting the world, and they have a history of running substandard laboratories,” he added.
US President Donal Trump on numerous occasions has also suggested that Beijing concealed important information about the COVID-19 outbreak which has now infected more than 1.1 million people and killed over 68,000 in the US.
Trump recently also said that the US pays WHO almost $500 million a year while China pays them $38 million a year, adding that “Whether it’s a lot more, it doesn’t matter.
They shouldn’t be making excuses when people make horrible mistakes, especially mistakes that are causing hundreds of thousands of people around the world to die.”
The US President also had alleged that China does not want to see him elected for a second term because of his administration’s tough stance of imposing high tariffs on Chinese imports.