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“What we do know is we know that this virus originated in Wuhan, China,” Pompeo told “The Story“. “We know there is the Wuhan Institute of Virology just a handful of miles away from where the wet market was. There is still lots to learn. The United States government is working diligently to figure it out.”
Host Martha MacCallum had asked Pompeo to react to an exclusive Fox News report that U.S. officials are increasingly confident the virus originated in a laboratory as part of a misbegotten Chinese effort to demonstrate that its ability to identify and combat viruses are equal to or greater than that of the United States
Sources who have been briefed on the early actions of China’s government and seen relevant materials believe the virus was initially transmitted from a bat to a human and that “patient zero” worked in the Wuhan laboratory. One of the sources told Fox that Beijing’s response to the outbreak may be the “costliest government coverup of all time.
Pompeo told MacCallum that “one of the best ways they [China] could find to cooperate would be to let the world in and to let the world’s scientists know exactly how this came to be; exactly how this virus began to spread.”
“[There were] a lot of cases [and] a lot of movement; a lot of travel around the world before the Chinese Communist Party came clean about what really transpired there,” the secretary of state continued. “These are the kinds of things that open governments [and] democracies don’t do. It’s why there’s such risk associated with the absence of transparency. We need it still today.”
MacCallum asked Pompeo about what impact these new reports and new developments may have on the future of Sino-American relations.
“Martha, I will say this: I’ve talked to my counterparts all across the world over the past handful of days. They all see this too. It’s very difficult to make the case that it was anything but absence of shared information in a timely fashion — it didn’t just put Americans at risk, It put people all across the world at risk,” Pompeo said.
“The Chinese government needs to come clean and needs to be accountable,” he added. “It needs to explain what happened and why it is the case that that information wasn’t made more broadly available.”
Fox News’ Bret Baier and Gregg Re contributed to this report.
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