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President Trump says he has ‘high confidence’ Covid-19 originated in Wuhan lab

US President Donald Trump told reporters he believed the novel coronavirus originated at the Wuhan Institute of Virology in China, declining to elaborate why, after US intelligence said it believes the virus was natural in origin.

Asked on Thursday if he had a “high degree of confidence” that the coronavirus originated at the laboratory, Trump replied “Yes, I have.”

“I can't tell you that. I'm not allowed to tell you that,” was his response to reporters who asked on what basis he was making that judgment.

President Trump is asked about the origins of the Coronavirus.

Q: “Have you seen anything at this point that gives you a high degree of confidence that the Wuhan Institute of Virology was the origin of this Virus?
”TRUMP: “Yes, I have.” pic.twitter.com/MUMNjMcfzn— Benny (@bennyjohnson) April 30, 2020

Earlier in the day, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) released a statement saying that the US intelligence community “concurs with the wide scientific consensus that the COVID-19 virus was not manmade or genetically modified.”

US spies “will continue to rigorously examine emerging information and intelligence to determine whether the outbreak began through contact with infected animals or if it was the result of an accident at a laboratory in Wuhan,” the ODNI added.

Trump scoffed at the statement when asked about it at the press event, but the ODNI is currently run by his confidant Ambassador Rick Grenell, pending the Senate confirmation of another ally, Congressman John Ratcliffe.

The US president has repeatedly blamed China for the Covid-19 pandemic, arguing that while Beijing locked down Wuhan and the surrounding province, it allowed Chinese nationals to travel abroad, spreading the virus.

The first recorded US cases were among the nationals evacuated from Wuhan in January, but the virus rapidly spread despite a national emergency declaration and draconian lockdowns. More than a million Americans have been infected as of this week, with more than 61,000 fatalities attributed to the virus.

Trump’s finger-pointing at China follows criticism from the Democrats, who have embraced the lockdowns but blame the president for both the deaths and the economic destruction the virus has wrought on the US, with more than 30 million Americans filing for unemployment so far. RT

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