Scott Morrison Refuses To Rule Out Wuhan Virus Lab As Source Of COVID
[/news/scott-morrison/index.html Scott Morrison] has said [/news/coronavirus/index.html coronavirus] may have escaped from a Chinese lab.
The Prime Minister said the theory, which is being investigated by US spies, 'can't be ruled out' even though he has seen no evidence to support it.
'There's nothing that we have that would suggest that that is the likely source but you can't rule anything out in this scenario,' he said today.
Scott Morrison has said coronavirus may have been made deliberately in a Chinese lab.
Pictured: The Wuhan Institute of Virology
Customers walk past pork stalls at the Dancun Market in Nanning, Guangxi province, China.
The leading theory is that coronavirus jumped from animals to humans in a wet market
Mr Morrison confirmed he will back a European Union resolution to set up an investigation into the outbreak.
'We know it started in China, in Wuhan, and the most likely scenario that has been canvassed relates to wildlife wet markets,' he said.
'This is one of the reasons why it is important we have an objective, independent assessment of how this originated and learn the lessons of how this occurred.'
The resolution will be put to the World Health Assembly which meets in Geneva, Switzerland on 18 May.
On Thursday US President Donald Trump speculated that China could have unleashed the coronavirus on the world by mistake and even suggested that a release could have been intentional.
An aerial view shows the P4 laboratory at the Wuhan Institute of Virology in Wuhan
Vendors wearing face masks as they offer prawns for sale at a market in Wuhan where reports of the virus first emerged in December
His intelligence agencies said they are still examining a notion put forward by the president and aides that the pandemic may have resulted from an accident at the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
The lab is a few kilometres from the city's wet markets and tour du lịch nam ninh was researching coronaviruses including the SARS virus, a close genetic relative of the current virus.
The Office of the Director of National Intelligence said it had ruled out the virus being man-made but was still investigating the precise source of the global pandemic, which has killed more than 220,000 people worldwide.
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Though scientists suggest the likeliest origin of the pandemic remains that it spread from an infected animal to a human, Trump claimed to have seen evidence to support the theory that the origin was an infectious disease lab in Wuhan.
He said the U.S.
now 'is finding how it came out.'
'It's a terrible thing that happened,' the president said. 'Whether they made a mistake or whether it started off as a mistake and then they made another one, or tour du lịch nam ninh did somebody do something on purpose.'
President Donald Trump answers questions from reporters during a event about protecting seniors, in the East Room of the White House on 30 April
The intelligence statement said the federal agencies concur 'with the wide scientific consensus that the COVID-19 virus was not manmade or genetically modified.'
'The IC will continue to rigorously examine emerging information and intelligence to determine whether the outbreak began through contact with infected animals or if it was the result of an accident at a laboratory in Wuhan.'
In recent days the Trump administration has sharpened its rhetoric on China, accusing the geopolitical foe and vital trading partner of failing to act swiftly enough to sound the alarm about the outbreak or to stop the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19.
officials have said the Chinese government should 'pay a price' for its handling of the pandemic.
This all comes as the pace of Trump´s own original response continues to come under scrutiny, questioned as too meager and too slow.
Earlier Thursday, before Trump's comments, the Chinese government said that any claims that the coronavirus was released from a laboratory are 'unfounded and purely fabricated out of nothing.'
Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang cited the institute´s director, Yuan Zhiming, as saying the lab strictly implements bio-security procedures that would prevent the release of any pathogen.
'I would like to point out again that the origin of the virus is a complex scientific issue, and it should be studied by scientists and professionals,' Geng said.
He also criticized those in the U.S.
who say China should be held accountable for the global pandemic, saying they should spend their time on 'better controlling the epidemic situation at home.'