Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, and China’s President Xi Jinping shake hands prior to their talks on the sideline of the 11th edition of the BRICS Summit, in Brasilia, Brazil, Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2019.The BRICS Summit, gathering the leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, will take place in Brasilia Nov. 13-14. (Ramil Sitdikov, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)
Today’s presser was short and to the point, but one major story broke that will have a lot of people talking going forward.
Fox News claims that anonymously sourced U.S. officials are telling them that they have a high confidence the Wuhan virus started in a lab and was later leaked. This came after the sources were briefed on the matter.
To be clear, this is not a claim that it was a bioweapon, but that the disease was naturally occurring, being studied, and that the “patient zero” infected the general population of Wuhan.
BREAKING: Fox News Reports U.S. Officials Have ‘High Confidence’ Coronavirus Leaked From Lab https://t.co/KdmHj9I2lJ
— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) April 15, 2020
Here’s the exchange that occurred in the Rose Garden today during today’s briefing.
Fox News White House correspondent John Roberts said on Wednesday during the Coronavirus Task Force press briefing that U.S. officials have “high confidence” that the coronavirus leaked from a lab in Wuhan.
“Multiple sources are telling Fox News today that the United States government now has high confidence that while the coronavirus is [a] naturally occurring virus, it emanated a virology lab in Wuhan,” Roberts said. “That because of lack safety protocols, an intern was infected who later infected her boyfriend, and then went to the wet market in Wuhan where it began to spread.”
“Does that correspond to with what you have heard from officials?” Roberts asked.
“Well, I don’t want to say that John, but I will tell you, more and more we’re hearing the story and we’ll see,” Trump responded.
The President would go on to dodge a question about whether he’s talked to Chinese dictator Xi about this, saying it’s not appropriate to discuss publicly right now. You can read into that as you will.
Trump also claimed the administration is investigating the matter. Where this goes is anyone’s guess, and I’d think it’d be incredibly hard to prove what did or didn’t happen given China’s secrecy. But for now, Fox News is reporting that officials are have seen enough evidence to lean toward this being a naturally occurring virus that was accidentally leaked.
I won’t speculate further and everyone will have to decide on their own how credible they find this report. No doubt, many on the left will claim this is Fox News just doing Trump’s bidding by spinning a narrative.
Regardless of where you fall, I suspect there will be more information coming out over the next few days.