Chinese lab leak is the "most credible" source of the coronavirus outbreak

Donald Trump’s Deputy National Security Adviser Matthew Pottinger told politicians that even China’s leaders now admit their previous claims the virus originated in a Wuhan market are false.

One of America’s most senior government officials says the most ‘credible’ theory about the origin of coronavirus is that it escaped from a laboratory in China.

Matthew Pottinger, who is President Donald Trump‘s respected Deputy National Security Adviser, told politicians from around the world that even China’s leaders now openly admit their previous claims that the virus originated in a Wuhan market are false.

Mr Pottinger said that the latest intelligence points to the virus leaking from the top-secret Wuhan Institute of Virology, 11 miles from the market, saying: ‘There is a growing body of evidence that the lab is likely the most credible source of the virus.’

He claimed the pathogen may have escaped through a ‘leak or an accident’, adding: ‘Even establishment figures in Beijing have openly dismissed the wet market story.’

The comments, which were made during a Zoom conference with MPs on China last week, come as a team of experts from the World Health Organisation prepare to fly to Wuhan to investigate how the pandemic began.

Critics fear the probe will be a whitewash given China’s influence on the WHO.

‘MPs around the world have a moral role to play in exposing the WHO investigation as a Potemkin exercise,’ Mr Pottinger told the parliamentarians, in reference to the fake villages created in the Crimea in the 18th Century, intended to convince the visiting Russian Empress Catherine the Great that the region was in good health.

Iain Duncan Smith, the former Tory Party leader who attended the meeting, said Mr Pottinger’s comments represented a ‘stiffening’ of the US position on the theory that the virus came from a leak at the laboratory, amid reports that the Americans are talking to a whistleblower from the Wuhan institute. [ … ]

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