World Must Have Access to Chinese Labs to Determine Source of Coronavirus: Mike Pompeo

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Wednesday that access to Chinese labs will help determine the origin of the Covid-19 virus, and more information was needed over the World Health Organisation’s assessment that the disease originated in animals.

“We, collectively the world, still has not had access to the Chinese labs,” Mr Pompeo said.

For the first time, he mentioned several labs beyond Wuhan’s Institute of Virology that would be critical to access to determine the origin of the virus.

He did not specify who should lead the investigation in the event that an international probe is initiated.

Mr Pompeo, in response to a question from The National, said access “would be important to the question presented [determining the origin of the virus] and it’s important we get the answer, not just as a historical matter, but so we can prevent such a thing from happening again…it is time that there would be transparency and access so that the world can respond.”

The Secretary of State pinpointed multiple labs in China that would need to be examined by the world.

“These labs in China, not just the WIV, there are multiple labs that where the Chinese Communist Party is working on various levels of pathogens,” Mr Pompeo told The National. “It is important that there would be a global effort that those people working with dangerous substances have the capability to prevent accidental release.”

He reiterated that the virus originated in China and slammed the government there for suggesting “through their disinformation campaigns that it began in Europe or brought by US soldiers.”

“This is dangerous,” he said, “this is not political, you have to know the nature and the pathway that the virus took in order to save lives, and that didn’t happen, they were too slow.”

Mr Pompeo also criticised the World Health Organisation for not demanding such information quickly. “That information didn’t get out to the world quickly enough, the World Health Organisation didn’t demand it and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) didn’t deliver it.”

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