World leaders keep distance from claim of Wuhan lab virus leak

2020-05-09 Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download
Special: Battle Against Novel Coronavirus

"We have looked into this. We don't have any evidence...There isn't any evidence this is a man-made coronavirus...We haven't seen any evidence,"UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock said during a TV interview with Sky News.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has distanced Australia from Donald Trump's allegation that the coronavirus outbreak began in a Wuhan laboratory.

"What we have before us doesn't suggest that [the Wuhan lab] is the likely source. There is nothing that we have that indicates that is the likely source," he said.

France said there was no evidence so far of a link between the new coronavirus and the work of the P4 research laboratory in the Chinese city of Wuhan.

"We would like to make it clear that there is to this day no factual evidence corroborating the information recently circulating in the United States press that establishes a link between the origins of COVID-19 and the work of the P4 laboratory of Wuhan, China," an official at President Emmanuel Macron's office said.

Canadain Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Canada is not drawing "firm conclusions" on allegations that the novel coronavirus — which has now caused devastation worldwide — came from a lab in the Chinese city of Wuhan.

Speaking to reporters, Trudeau said Canada has been working with its Five Eyes partners — Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States — on "various" pieces of intelligence regarding the COVID-19 outbreak but "at this point we are not drawing any firm conclusions."

"If you look at the evolution of the virus in bats, and what's out there now is very, very strongly leaning toward this [virus] could not have been artificially or deliberately manipulated— the way the mutations have naturally evolved,"

Dr Anthony Fauci, the U.S.'s top infectious disease expert and a member of the White House coronavirus task force dismissed theories that the coronavirus was either manufactured or accidentally released from a Chinese lab.

"We listened again and again to numerous scientists who looked at the sequences and looked at this virus. And we are assured that this virus is natural in origin," said Mike Ryan, executive director of the WHO Health Emergencies Programme, during a virtual news conference.

Ryan emphasized the importance of better understanding the virus and understanding the animal-human interface and how the barrier between them was breached.

"The purpose of understanding that is that we can put in place the necessary prevention and public health measures to prevent that happening again anywhere," he said.

Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley said that "we don't know" where the coronavirus originated.

"Did it come out of the virology lab in Wuhan, did it occur in the wet market there in Wuhan or did it occur somewhere else? And the answer to that is we don't know," the top U.S. military officer told reporters in a Pentagon briefing when asked about the origin of COVID-19.

"Various agencies both civilian and U.S. government are looking at that," he added.

Milley said that the weight of evidence indicated the coronavirus was "natural and not manmade" and was "probably not intentional."


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