Secretary of State Mike Pompeo appeared on ABC’s “This Week” Sunday morning and backed up President Trump’s statement that he had a “high degree of confidence” that the coronavirus originated from the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
Host Martha Raddatz referenced a DNI report released this week and played the clip of Trump making the “high degree of confidence” clip before asking Sec. Pompeo if he’d seen anything that gave him a high degree of confidence that the virus originated in that lab. His response:
“Martha, there’s enormous evidence that that’s where this began. We’ve said from the beginning that this was a virus that originated in Wuhan, China. 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. These are not the first times that we’ve had a world exposed to virus as a result of failures in a Chinese lab.
“And so while the Intelligence Committee continues to do its work, they should continue to do that, verify, so that we are certain. I can tell you that there is a significant amount of evidence that this came from that laboratory in Wuhan.”
Raddatz then asked Pompeo if he believed that it was man-made or genetically modified. He stumbled on his first reply, seeming to say that he believed it was man-made, but when Raddatz followed up he said:
“I’ve seen what the intelligence community has said. I have no reason to believe that they got it wrong….
“The Chinese Communist Party had the opportunity to prevent all of the calamity that’s befallen the world..this is an enormous crisis created by the fact that the Chinese Communist Party reverted to form, reverted to the kinds of disinformation, the kinds of concealment that authoritarian regimes do.
“Had those scientists been operating in America, they would have put this out, there would have been an exchange of ideas, and we would have quickly identified the types of things that we needed to do in response. Instead, China behaved like authoritarian regimes do, attempted to conceal and hide and confuse and employed the World Health Organization as a tool to do the same.
“These are the kinds of things that have now presented this enormous crisis and enormous loss of life and tremendous economic cost all across the globe….
I think the whole world is united, understanding that China brought this virus to the world.”
He doesn’t say he believes it wasn’t genetically modified or man-made but simply that he has no reason to believe the experts got it wrong. That may be an important distinction in the future, or he could be saying that because he’s not a virology expert.
Raddatz also asked Pompeo if he thought the virus was purposely released or if it there was an accident in the lab. Pompeo replied that he didn’t have anything to say about that and couldn’t answer because the Chinese Communist Party has refused to cooperate with world health experts.
There must be severe consequences inflicted upon the Chinese Communist Party by the rest of the countries in the world. In my mind, economic shunning would be highly effective, as would banning ownership of anything in the United States by a Chinese citizen, and defaulting on any business debt to a Chinese bank as repayment for damages.