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Psaki Dodges Question On COVID Originating In Lab

(Photo by HECTOR RETAMAL/AFP via Getty Images)

On Thursday, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki dodged a question from a reporter about whether the White House had seen any circumstantial evidence that COVID-19 did not originate in a Chinese lab.

“Has the White House seen any circumstantial evidence that it did not originate in a lab?” a reporter asked Psaki.

“Well, I think, first, I would caution you against disproving a negative there — which is never the responsible approach, in our view, when it come — when it comes to getting to the bottom of the root causes of a pandemic that has killed hundreds of thousands of people in the United States,” Psaki responded. “I will say that our view continues to be that there needs to be an independent, transparent investigation — and that needs to happen with the cooperation and data provided from the Chinese government. We don’t have enough information at this point to make an assessment.”

The question comes after Republican Members of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence released a report on the evidence that COVID-19 had originated in a Chinese lab. The report stated that “significant circumstantial evidence raises serious concerns that the COVID19 outbreak may have been a leak from the Wuhan Institute of Virology. This evidence includes:

  • China’s history of research lab leaks resulting in infections.
  • Warnings from U.S. diplomats in China as early as 2017 that the Wuhan lab was conducting dangerous research on coronaviruses without following necessary safety protocols, risking the accidental outbreak of a pandemic.
  • Gain of Function research being conducted at the Wuhan lab that made coronaviruses more infectious in humans.
  • Several researchers at Wuhan lab were sickened with COVID-19-like symptoms in fall 2019.
  • The involvement in the Wuhan lab of the Chinese military, which has a documented biological weapons program.
  • Multiple indications of attempts by Beijing to cover up the true circumstances of the COVID-19 outbreak.”

“By contrast, little circumstantial evidence has emerged to support the PRC’s claim that COVID-19 was a natural occurrence, having jumped from some other species to humans. For example, Chinese authorities have failed to identify the original species that allegedly spread the virus to humans, which is critical to their zoonotic transfer theory,” the report added.

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