Matthew Pottinger told politicians from around the world that even China’s leaders now openly admit their previous claims that the virus originated in a Wuhan market are false
One of America’s most senior government officials says the most ‘credible’ theory about the origin of coronavirus is that it escaped from a laboratory in China.
Matthew Pottinger, who is President Donald Trump’s respected Deputy National Security Adviser, told politicians from around the world that even China’s leaders now openly admit their previous claims that the virus originated in a Wuhan market are false.
Mr Pottinger said that the latest intelligence points to the virus leaking from the top-secret Wuhan Institute of Virology, 11 miles from the market, saying: “There is a growing body of evidence that the lab is likely the most credible source of the virus.”
He claimed the pathogen may have escaped through a ‘leak or an accident’, adding: “Even establishment figures in Beijing have openly dismissed the wet market story.”
The comments, which were made during a Zoom conference with MPs on China last week, come as a team of experts from the World Health Organisation prepare to fly to Wuhan to investigate how the pandemic began.
Iain Duncan Smith, the former Tory Party leader who attended the meeting, said Mr Pottinger’s comments represented a ‘stiffening’ of the US position on the theory that the virus came from a leak at the laboratory, amid reports that the Americans are talking to a whistleblower from the Wuhan institute.
“I was told the US have an ex-scientist from the laboratory in America at the moment,” he said.
That was what I heard a few weeks ago.
“I was led to believe this is how they have been able to stiffen up their position on how this outbreak originated.”
He added that Beijing’s refusal to allow journalists to visit the laboratory only served to increase suspicion that it was ‘ground zero’ for the pandemic.
Matthew Pottinger said that even China’s leaders now openly admit their previous claims are false (Image: Getty images) front cover
mirror me uk