Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said during an interview on Friday that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is not letting scientists from around the world enter the Wuhan Institute of Virology, which U.S. government officials have “increasing confidence” as being the location where the coronavirus outbreak may have originated.
“The sources believe the initial transmission of the virus – a naturally occurring strain that was being studied there – was bat-to-human and that ‘patient zero’ worked at the laboratory, then went into the population in Wuhan,” Fox News reported. “China ‘100 percent’ suppressed data and changed data, the sources tell Fox News. Samples were destroyed, contaminated areas scrubbed, some early reports erased, and academic articles stifled.”
Pompeo joined radio host Hugh Hewitt on Friday to discuss the latest reporting from Fox News and The Washington Post, which reported this week that State Department cables from 2018 sounded the alarm on the lab in Wuhan over safety concerns.
“Yesterday, there was a long press conference in Beijing. The foreign ministry spokesperson, their senior spokesperson, rejected American journalism’s stories that Wuhan virus originated in a Wuhan lab,” Hewitt said. “And they rejected the story that an underground nuclear test in violation of the nuclear test ban, had occurred. Do you reject the Chinese spokesperson’s rejection of both charges?”
“I don’t want to comment on the second one, but with respect to the first one, we don’t know the answer to the question about the precise origination point,” Pompeo said. “But we do know this: We know that the first sightings of this occurred within miles of the Wuhan Institute of Virology. We know that this, the history of the facility, first VSL-4 lab where there’s high-end virus research being conducted took place at that site.”
“We know that the Chinese Communist Party, when it began to evaluate what to do inside of Wuhan, considered whether the WIV was in fact the place where this came from,” Pompeo continued. “And most importantly, we know that they’ve not permitted the world’s scientists to go into that laboratory to evaluate what took place there, what’s happening there, what’s happening there even as we speak, Hugh, even as we’re on the show this morning. We still have not had Western access to that facility so that we can properly evaluate what really has taken off all across the world and how that began.”
“Those are facts, and those are important facts,” Pompeo added. “And the Chinese Communist Party and the World Health Organization have a responsibility to the world to take those facts and take them to their logical conclusion and find out these answers, these important answers. These aren’t political. This is about science and health, and we need to get to the bottom of it.”
A separate report this week from the Associated Press revealed that Chinese President Xi Jinping knew on January 14, the same day that they told the World Health Organization that there was no evidence of human-to-human transmission, that the outbreak was a “severe” “epidemic,” and that “the risk of transmission and spread” was “high.”