US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo appears to be backing away from a theory he and President Donald Trump were pushing that the coronavirus pandemic may have originated at a lab in Wuhan, China.
Pompeo said in an interview with Breitbart that aired Saturday that “we know it began in Wuhan, but we don’t know from where or from whom, and those are important things.”
“We have repeatedly asked to have teams go in to assist them in identifying where the virus originated,” the secretary said.
Pompeo has for weeks publicly espoused the theory that the virus that has infected nearly 1.5 million Americans originated from the Wuhan Institute of Virology, claiming in an interview earlier this month that there was “enormous evidence” this was the case.
He later conceded that he couldn’t be certain of its origin and that the evidence that it came from “the vicinity” of the Wuhan lab “could be wrong.”
The Chinese government has pushed back on the claim, describing it as a “smear” intended to bolster US President Donald Trump’s reelection chances.