The UK’s health minister has said there’s nothing in the roots of the Covid-19 epidemic to support allegations of a man-made origin, as unsubstantiated theories continue to be touted on the other side of the Atlantic.
“We have looked into this and we don’t have any evidence that this is a man-made coronavirus,” Matt Hancock stated on Wednesday. The remark came as he was pressed into giving his take on the US government alleging that the novel coronavirus originated from a Chinese laboratory.
We haven’t seen any evidence of a link, there’s nothing I’ve seen that confirms the allegation.
Days ago, US President Donald Trump made headlines by saying he has seen evidence backing up this theory. “We have people looking at it very, very strongly. Scientific people, intelligence people, and others,” he said at the time, adding: “We will have a very good answer eventually.”
Hancock, meanwhile, declined to say whether the US has shared any tip-offs with its closest ally. The minister only noted that the American president “phrased his comments very carefully.”
Other members of the Trump administration have also aggressively advanced the “man-made virus” theory. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo ramped up the rhetoric, claiming on Sunday he has a “significant amount of evidence” that the novel coronavirus came out of a lab in Wuhan, the epicenter of China’s Covid-19 crisis.
The former CIA director’s theories, however, run contrary to what the Western intelligence community believes. Previously, the Guardian reported that sources close to the Five Eyes intelligence alliance – comprised of secret services in the UK, US, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada – maintain there was no foul play behind the spread of Covid-19.
China has consistently refuted the accusations, pointing out that it was a victim of the deadly virus, not the mastermind of a global pandemic.
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