Cotton: All evidence ‘points toward Wuhan labs’; Pompeo hits continued secrecy

by WorldTribune Staff, April 22, 2020

The evidence is increasingly pointing to laboratories in Wuhan, China as the source of the coronavirus outbreak, Sen. Tom Cotton said.

“While the Chinese government denies the possibility of a lab leak, its actions tell a different story,” the Arkansas Republican wrote in the Wall Street Journal on April 21.

“The Chinese military posted its top epidemiologist to the Institute of Virology in January. In February Chairman Xi Jinping urged swift implementation of new biosafety rules to govern pathogens in laboratory settings. Academic papers about the virus’s origins are now subject to prior restraint by the government,” Cotton, a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, wrote.

U.S. intelligence officials are investigating whether the coronavirus first leaked out of a Chinese government lab, Cotton wrote.

Cotton, who has suggested such an origin since January, noted: “This evidence is circumstantial, to be sure, but it all points toward the Wuhan labs. Thanks to the Chinese coverup, we may never have direct, conclusive evidence — intelligence rarely works that way — but Americans justifiably can use common sense to follow the inherent logic of events to their likely conclusion.”

Meanwhile, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo accused China and the World Health Organization (WHO) of major failures in their handling of the outbreak.

“China didn’t share all the information it had. It covered up how dangerous the disease is. It didn’t report sustained human-to-human transmission for a month, until it was inside every province in China. It censored those who tried to warn the world… and it destroyed existing samples,” Pompeo said at an April 22 press conference.

“The CCP has still not shared the virus sample from inside of China with the outside world, making it impossible to track the disease’s evolution,” Pompeo said.

He added: “The World Health Organization’s regulatory arm clearly failed during this pandemic,” referring to the obligation to share viral samples and the policing of such matters according to the International Health Regulations (IHR) of 2005.

The IHR states: “Each State Party shall assess events occurring within its territory… Each State Party shall notify WHO, by the most efficient means of communication available… and within 24 hours of assessment of public health information, of all events which may constitute a public health emergency of international concern within its territory in accordance with the decision instrument, as well as any health measure implemented in response to those events…

“…If a State Party has evidence of an unexpected or unusual public health event within its territory, irrespective of origin or source, which may constitute a public health emergency of international concern, it shall provide to WHO all relevant public health information.”

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