China must be held accountable if US intelligence’s investigation into claims the novel coronavirus could have originated from a laboratory in Wuhan turns out to be true, lawmakers have insisted.
It comes after President Donald Trump said on Wednesday the US is trying to determine whether the coronavirus first crossed to humans accidentally during experiments with bats at the Wuhan Institute of Virology Lab.
Senator for Arizona Martha McSally said there is ‘zero doubt’ the Chinese government has ‘American blood on its hands’ (File image)
Texas Senator Ted Cruz tweeted that there is ‘much circumstantial evidence’ to suggest the virus was leaked from a Wuhan laboratory (File image)
The Wuhan Institute of Virology is China’s only bio-safety level four (BSL-4) facility
A US intelligence official confirmed the intelligence community is actively seeking information on the topic and are updating lawmakers on their findings, according to a CBS report.
Senator for Arizona Martha McSally said there is ‘zero doubt’ China has ‘American blood on its hands’.
‘There is zero doubt that the Chinese communist government has American blood on its hands.
‘They put American lives at risk by covering up the origin and scope of the coronavirus crisis,’ she told Fox News.
Texas Senator Ted Cruz tweeted that there is ‘much circumstantial evidence’ to suggest the virus was leaked from a Wuhan laboratory.
Speaking on The Sean Hannity Show, Senator Tom Cotton (pictured) agreed it seemed ‘highly coincidental’ that ‘this very contagious virus originated just a few hundred yards or maybe a couple miles from laboratories where the Chinese Communist Party researches coronaviruses’
‘What we do know is we know that this virus originated in Wuhan, China,’ Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told Fox News on Wednesday evening. ‘We know there is the Wuhan Institute of Virology just a handful of miles away from where the wet market was. There is still lots to learn. The United States government is working diligently to figure it out’
‘HUGE. There is much circumstantial evidence, including TWO Chinese labs in Wuhan that were studying bat coronaviruses.
‘If the virus accidentally escaped from the labs—and the CCP covered it up—then the Chinese govt is responsible for 130k+ global deaths,’ he wrote on Wednesday.
Speaking on The Sean Hannity Show, Senator Tom Cotton agreed it seemed ‘highly coincidental’ that ‘this very contagious virus originated just a few hundred yards or maybe a couple miles from laboratories where the Chinese Communist Party researches coronaviruses.’
Cotton also said there must be repercussions for the Chinese Communist Party ‘if it turns out that Chinese negligence and then Chinese corruption and treachery was responsible for unleashing this pandemic on the world.’
A worker is seen ninside the P4 laboratory in Wuhan. Texas Senator Ted Cruz tweeted that there is ‘much circumstantial evidence’ to suggest the virus was leaked from a Wuhan laboratory
After word of the outbreak finally became public, Chinese leaders were quick to blame Wuhan’s ‘wet market’ where wild animals — though not bats — are sold for consumption, leading one source to tell Fox News the debacle is the ‘costliest government coverup of all time.’
‘Patient zero’ worked at the Wuhan lab, and spread the virus into the local population after leaving work, sources who had been briefed on intelligence told the outlet.
China has refuted claims that the virus may have originated in a laboratory near the city of Wuhan where contagious samples were being stored.
A colorized scanning electron micrograph of an apoptotic cell (red) heavily infected with SARS-COV-2 virus particles (yellow), isolated from a patient sample
The Wuhan laboratory pictured in a file photo. The Wuhan lab is China’s only bio-safety level four (BSL-4) facility, and has long been eyed with suspicion as scientists try to determine how the deadly virus crossed over into humans
‘What we do know is we know that this virus originated in Wuhan, China,’ Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told Fox News on Wednesday evening. ‘We know there is the Wuhan Institute of Virology just a handful of miles away from where the wet market was. There is still lots to learn. The United States government is working diligently to figure it out.’
Asked about the new allegations at a White House press conference on Wednesday, Trump replied cryptically: ‘More and more, we’re hearing the story.’
It comes as China today revised the death toll in coronavirus ground-zero Wuhan, revealing that nearly 4,000 people have died from the illness in the area.
In a social media post, the city government added 1,290 deaths to the tally in Wuhan, bringing the toll to 3,869.
Officials said many fatal cases were ‘mistakenly reported’ or missed entirely in an admission that comes amid growing global doubts about Chinese transparency.
The global pandemic originally emerged in Wuhan and went on to suffer the vast majority of China’s fatalities from Covid-19, the disease caused by the virus.
Senator Tom Cotton claims that China ‘deliberately’ allowed coronavirus to wreak havoc on the rest of the world as he calls for the Chinese Communist Party to be ‘held responsible’
Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton has claimed that China ‘deliberately’ allowed the rest of the world to become infected with the novel coronavirus.
He made the comments during an interview on Fox’s Outnumbered Overtime after it emerged that US intelligence officials are investigating whether the virus could have leaked from a laboratory in Wuhan.
Cotton said that even if there was a lack of ‘conclusive evidence’ on where the virus originated, the cover up in the weeks following the outbreak allowed the disease to spread beyond China to wreak havoc on the rest of the world.
Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton has claimed that China ‘deliberately’ allowed the rest of the world to become infected with the novel coronavirus
China has strongly refuted claims that coronavirus could have first crossed to humans accidentally during experiments with bats at the Wuhan Institute of Virology Lab.
‘Even if we can’t establish it conclusively, we still know that they covered up this virus for weeks in December and January when they could have been forthright, when they could have tried to arrest its spread in Wuhan,’ Cotton said.
‘But instead they made this decision deliberately to allow this virus to spread around the world.
‘In my opinion, Xi Jinping had decided if China is going to suffer then the rest of the world, especially the United States, is going to suffer, and there has to be consequences to those actions.’
Cotton also commented: ‘There is a lot of circumstantial evidence to point to those labs as the sources of this pandemic.
‘There’s virtually no evidence, circumstantial or direct, to point to a food market in Wuhan.
‘It just takes a little bit of common sense to say that the Chinese Communist Party needs to be held responsible.’
It comes after a report by Fox News in which multiple sources claimed investigations are underway to determine if coronavirus could have first crossed to humans during experiments with bats at the Wuhan Institute of Virology laboratory.
‘These are acts of WAR!’ Economist claims China covered up its early coronavirus outbreak and preempted global crisis by inserting a ‘pandemic clause’ in trade deal with United States
Jack Elsom for MailOnline
China committed an ‘act of war’ by covering up the scale of its early coronavirus outbreak for six weeks, a leading economist has claimed.
Danielle DiMartino Booth, an author and chief executive, said Beijing officials were aware of the deadly disease spreading in Wuhan last November and allowed it to snowball into a global pandemic.
She said Chinese officials had countless lives on their hands and should be hauled before an international court as their ‘under-reporting’ did not afford the rest of the world time to enforce border restrictions.
The economist points to a ‘pandemic clause’ in the January trade deal between Washington and Beijing, which she believes is evidence the Communist regime knew the extent of their crisis while publicly downplaying it.
DiMartino Booth said: ‘The World Health Organisation should be held accountable for not holding China accountable to providing good valid data so the rest of the world could prepare for fewer people to die.
‘And that’s what you’re talking about. To me these are equivalent to acts of war.’
China committed an ‘act of war’ by covering up the scale of its early coronavirus outbreak for six weeks, a leading economist has claimed (President Xi Jinping pictured in March at a hospital in Wuhan)
Danielle DiMartino Booth, an author and chief executive, said Beijing officials were aware of the deadly disease spreading in Wuhan last November and allowed it to snowball into a global pandemic
Her blistering attack, made on the Valuetainment YouTube show, came as Wuhan, the epicenter of the pandemic, revised the city’s official death toll to add nearly 1,300 fatalities.
She told host Patrick Bet-David that reports of a virus in Wuhan emerged in November, and that six weeks later on January 15, Washington and Beijing signed a trade deal in which she claims China preempted the pandemic.
In an agreement which ended the bitter trade war between the world’s two economic powerhouses, Xi Jinping would buy $200million of Americal goods and Donald Trump would ease tariffs on Chinese exports.
But DiMartino Booth said that buried in this deal was ‘an out-clause, a very clever out-clause that the Chinese made sure was in there.’
She continued: ‘That said if there was any act of God, a pandemic, then they didn’t have to make good on what they’d committed to buy from the United States.
President Donald Trump stands with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He after signing ‘phase one’ of the US-China trade agreement in the East Room of the White House in Washington January 15
‘Within days they’d announced the first coronavirus (case).
‘So, did the Chinese know damn well that this thing was running around the world for six weeks before they shut down Wuhan? Yes they did. Is that criminal? Yes it is. Does it deserve to go in front of a world tribunal? Yes it does.’
The clause DiMartino is understood to have referred to is Article 7.6, which stipulates that the parties shall ‘consult with each other’ in the event of a ‘natural disaster or other unforeseeable event’ outside of their control.
China first officially started investigating a pneumonia-type disease in Wuhan in December, but last month the South China Morning Post unearthed a report which suggested the government were aware of an outbreak as early as November.
Questions have long swirled around the accuracy of China’s case reporting, with Wuhan in particular going several days in January without reporting new cases or deaths.
Funeral home workers remove the body of a person suspected to have died from the coronavirus outbreak from a residential building in Wuhan on February 1
That has led to accusations that Chinese officials were seeking to minimize the impact of the outbreak and could have brought it under control sooner.
A group of eight medical workers, including a doctor who later died from the virus, were even reprimanded and threatened by police after they tried to alert others about the disease over social media.
Chinese officials have denied covering up cases, saying their reports were accurate and timely.
However, the WHO has come under criticism for defending China’s handling of the outbreak.
President Trump has now suspended funding to WHO over what he alleges is its pro-China bias.
Trump’s blaming of China came after he initially showered praise on Chinese President Xi Jinping for the country’s response, while largely dismissing the risk it posed to the US
At the start of the outbreak, China proceeded cautiously and largely in secret, emphasizing political stability.
Experts estimate more than 3,000 people were infected before China’s government told the public about the gravity of the situation, which officials had concluded six days earlier.
The risk of sustained human-to-human transmission was also downplayed, even while infected people entered hospitals across the country and the first case outside China was found, in Thailand.
As Trump and other US officials and lawmakers started blaming China for the outbreak, Chinese officials sought to shift blame back to the US.
Foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian tweeted in March: ‘It might be US army who brought the epidemic to Wuhan.’