Coronavirus ‘not manmade or genetically modified,’ say U.S. intelligence agencies

U.S. President Donald Trump, left, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, seen in a file photo, have both publicly speculated about the possibility the novel coronavirus had its origins in a laboratory setting. 
Yves Herman/Reuters

Date Published: April 30, 2020

Source: CBC

U.S. intelligence agencies said that they believe the new coronavirus was “not manmade or genetically modified,” but they are still examining the origins of the pandemic. Scientists say the virus arose naturally in bats. Nevertheless, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and others have pointed fingers at an institute that is run by the Chinese Academy of Sciences. This institute has done groundbreaking research tracing the likely origins of the SARS virus, finding new bat viruses, and discovering how the viruses could spread to people. U.S. officials say the American Embassy in Beijing flagged concerns about potential safety issues at a lab in Wuhan in 2018, but they have yet to find any evidence the virus originated there. The Chinese government said Thursday that any claims that the coronavirus was released from a laboratory are “unfounded and purely fabricated out of nothing.”

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Summary by: Manjot Sunner