US State Department Releases New Info On Chinese Origins Of COVID-19; Calls For Full Account Of EventsUS Secretary Of State Mike Pompeo (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

In a pushback against China, United States (US) Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has shared new information concerning the activities in China’s government laboratories in 2019 as the US looks to assist the World Health Organisation (WHO)'s team which is in China to investigate the origin of COVID-19.

Secretary Pompeo led Department of State has asserted, "The US Government has reason to believe that several researchers inside the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) became sick in autumn 2019, before the first identified case of the outbreak, with symptoms consistent with both COVID-19 and common seasonal illnesses. This raises questions about the credibility of WIV senior researcher Shi Zhengli’s public claim that there was “zero infection” among the WIV’s staff and students of SARS-CoV-2 or SARS-related viruses."

Department of State has also pressed, "Starting in at least 2016, WIV researchers studied RaTG13, the bat coronavirus identified by the WIV in January 2020 as its closest sample to SARS-CoV-2 (96.2% similar). Since the outbreak, the WIV has not been transparent nor consistent about its work with RaTG13 or other similar viruses, including possible “gain of function” experiments to enhance transmissibility or lethality."

The Department has also emphasised, "Despite the WIV presenting itself as a civilian institution, the WIV has collaborated on publications and secret projects with China’s military. The WIV has engaged in classified research, including laboratory animal experiments, on behalf of the Chinese military since at least 2017."

Sharing the information, the US' Department of State pressed for unfettered access to virus samples, lab records and personnel, eyewitnesses, and whistleblowers to ensure the credibility of the WHO’s final report.

The Department warned, "Until the CCP allows a full and thorough accounting of what happened in Wuhan, it is only a matter of time until China births another pandemic and inflicts it on the Chinese people, and the world."

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