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People's Daily Online

U.S. intelligence analysts concerned over Trump officials' pressure to link coronavirus with Chinese lab: media

People's Daily Online

(Xinhua) 13:12, May 01, 2020

WASHINGTON, April 30 (Xinhua) -- Some U.S. intelligence analysts have expressed concern that senior Trump administration officials' pressure to link the coronavirus with a Chinese lab will distort assessments about the virus and they could be used as a political weapon, The New York Times said in a report on Thursday.

Senior Trump administration officials pushed U.S. intelligence agencies to hunt for evidence to support an unsubstantiated theory that a lab in China's Wuhan was the origin of the coronavirus outbreak, the report said, citing current and former U.S. officials.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, former director of the Central Intelligence Agency, took the lead in pushing intelligence agencies for more information, according to the report.

"Most intelligence agencies remain skeptical that conclusive evidence of a link to a lab can be found, and scientists who have studied the genetics of the coronavirus say that the overwhelming probability is that it leapt from animal to human in a nonlaboratory setting, as was the case with HIV, Ebola and SARS," said the report.

As COVID-19 deaths continue to increase in the United States, the Trump administration and its allies in Congress have tried desperately to deflect criticisms about their blunders by blaming others.

As of Thursday noon, the United States reported more than 1,040,000 COVID-19 cases with over 61,000 deaths, according to the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University.

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