On Wednesday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo pressed China to allow inspectors to enter its sensitive laboratories, expressing his concern about measures regarding its security amid the Covid-19 pandemic ravaging the world.
Pompeo refused to rule out that the deadly virus had leaked from a laboratory in Wuhan, a scenario which Beijing strongly denies.
“You have to remember… that these laboratories are still open inside China,” Pompeo told reporters.
These laboratories containing complex pathogens were being studied.
Not just the Wuhan Institute of Virology”.
“It is important that these materials are handled in a safe and secure manner so that there is no accidental release,” he told reporters.
Pompeo cited the example of nuclear installations, citing strict global inspections to ensure safety.
He renewed concerns that China had not shared a model of the virus detected initially, scientifically known as SARS-Cov-2.
“We still do not have a model of the virus, and the world has not been able to access facilities or other locations where this virus may have originally originated in Wuhan,” Pompeo said.
The Chinese authorities initially obscured the news of the deadly virus, including the arrest of two prominent informants.
Since then, Chinese scientists have said they suspect the virus appeared late in a meat market in Wuhan, where wild animals are slaughtered.
However, the matter raised doubts because he was near a heavily guarded virus laboratory, and senior US officials echoed in official letters that were not initially just part of a conspiracy theory on the Internet.
Critics said President Donald Trump was eager to distance himself from criticism over his handling of the epidemic that has killed more than 46,000 people in the United States, more than any other country.