A SPY dossier claims it is “highly unlikely” coronavirus came from a notorious Wuhan lab despite President Trump suggesting he had seen proof saying it had.
It’s been reported officials who have seen an assessment of the top-level report say it states the outbreak has its origins in the Chinese city’s notorious wet market.
“We think it’s highly unlikely it was an accident,” a Western diplomatic official with knowledge of the intelligence told CNN.
“It is highly likely it was naturally occurring and that the human infection was from natural human and animal interaction.”
Another source said that “clearly the market is where it exploded from,” but how the virus got to the market remains unclear.
Last week President Trump claimed he had “evidence” the deadly coronavirus was linked to the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
The President broke the news during his press conference at on Thursday – but refused to give details.
He said he has a “high level of confidence” the coronavirus, which has infected over one million Americans, came from the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
He added that the US authorities were “looking at it very, very strongly”.
The President said: “We’re going to see where it is – we’re going to see where it comes from. There’s a lot of theories. China might even tell us.”
However he did make it clear he has seen no evidence that the killer virus had actually been created by the Wuhan lab.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo then said there was “enormous evidence” that coronavirus came from the lab in Wuhan.
However, he also refused to say if he thought the deadly bug was released intentionally.
US and British intelligence officials suspect bungling scientists at the Wuhan Institute of Virology accidentally spread the killer disease during risky coronavirus tests on bats.
Mr Pompeo, a former director of the Central Intelligence Agency, said he agreed with the US intelligence community, which recently said that “the COVID-19 virus was not man-made or genetically modified”.
However, he suggested there was some link between the virus and a Wuhan laboratory.
But without greater cooperation and transparency from the Chinese it’s impossible to say with total certainty, another official added.
The World Health Organization has said the United States government has not given any evidence to support what it calls the Trump administration’s “speculative” claims .
Chinese state media attacked the US claims, with the state broadcaster CCTV labelling them “insane and evasive” in a Monday opinion piece entitled “Evil Pompeo is wantonly spewing poison and spreading lies”.
On Monday Dr Anthony Fauci said there was “no scientific evidence” to point to coronavirus having been manufactured in any Chinese laboratory.
In an interview in National Geographic, the top doc rubbished suggestions that the virus was created at a facility in Wuhan – insisting COVID-19 is naturally-occurring and has not been “deliberately manipulated.”
“If you look at the evolution of the virus in bats and what’s out there now, [the scientific evidence] is very, very strongly leaning toward this could not have been artificially or deliberately manipulated,” Fauci said.
“Everything about the stepwise evolution over time strongly indicates that (this virus) evolved in nature and then jumped species.”
During the interview, Fauci also rejected President Trump’s hope that the virus, which has claimed the lives of nearly 70,000 Americans, would “miraculously” vanish.
Trump has repeatedly suggested the virus will “go away” during his daily coronavirus press briefings.
However, Fauci said: “I don’t think there’s a chance that this virus is just going to disappear.
“It’s going to be around, and if given the opportunity, it will resurge.”
The leaked spy dossier published over the weekend detailed how Chinese officials tried to obstruct other countries’ vaccine efforts, and says the country silenced whistleblowers and destroyed evidence of the outbreak in state-run labs.
The classified document, obtained by Australia’s The Saturday Telegraph, came after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said there is “enormous evidence” coronavirus came from the Chinese virology laboratory.
But reports on Monday based on Western intelligence sources suggested there is doubt in the theory the virus may have escaped – accidentally or deliberately, from the lab.
A Guardian report, quoting ‘Five Eyes’ sources, said there is “nothing to indicate a leak from the lab could have caused the pandemic.”
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It adds “there is both scientific and intelligence agency agreement” that there is “no evidence” the disease was genetically engineered.
The New York Times reported on Monday the administration is projecting a steady rise in the number of deaths over the next several weeks, surging to around 3,000 fatalities per day in less than a month.
The same day, an internal Chinese report concluded that anti-China sentiment is at its highest since the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown and the fallout from the coronavirus outbreak could tip relations with the US into confrontation.