Evidence gathered by the U.S. military weighs against a theory that the CCP virus was purposely released from a laboratory in Wuhan, China, the Pentagon’s top uniformed official said.
“The weight of evidence—nothing is conclusive—the weight of evidence is that it is natural and not man-made,” U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Army Gen. Mark Milley told reporters at the Pentagon on May 5.
Milley left open the possibility that the virus did originate at the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
“The second issue is, was it accidentally released? Did it release naturally into the environment or was it intentional? We do not have conclusive evidence in any of that but the weight of evidence is that it was probably not intentional,” he added, noting he wouldn’t talk about “any detailed intelligence.”
Questions surrounding the origin of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, commonly known as the novel coronavirus and which causes the disease COVID-19, have left researchers around the world frustrated because of the lack of transparency from the CCP.
While the virus emerged in Wuhan last year near the top-level lab there, Chinese authorities have said it originated at a nearby wet market.
Various agencies are probing the origin of the virus, Milley said, adding officials don’t yet know the source.
“It would help a great deal if the Chinese government would open up and allow inspectors and investigators to go there in full transparency so the world can learn the actual, original source of this so that we can apply the lessons learned to prevent outbreaks in the future,” he said.
The Chinese regime has largely blocked international scientists from entering the country, including repeatedly rebuffing offers from the United States to send experts to help analyze lingering questions about the new virus.
U.S. intelligence agencies said late last month that the virus wasn’t “man-made or genetically modified” but said officials are still looking into “whether the outbreak began through contact with infected animals or if it was the result of an accident at a laboratory in Wuhan.”
President Donald Trump said April 30 that he saw evidence pointing to the virus originating at the Wuhan Institute of Virology while Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said over the weekend that “a significant amount of evidence” supports the thesis that the CCP virus originated at the lab.
“These are not the first times that we’ve had a world exposed to viruses as a result of failures in a Chinese lab,” he added, later declining to say whether he believes the virus was intentionally released.
“My opinion is that they made a mistake, they tried to cover it, they tried to put it out. It’s like a fire, it’s really like trying to put out a fire,” he added. “They couldn’t put out the fire.”