China ‘open to cooperate’ with WHO on virus origin

A view of drawings made by medical workers on a wall inside Leishenshan Hospital, in Wuhan, China. EPA-EFE/ROMAN PILIPEY

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China has said it is “always open to cooperate” with World Health Organisation (WHO) investigations into the origins of the coronavirus, as Donald Trump repeated claims that the outbreak originated in a Wuhan laboratory.

China has denied the claim, for which the US is yet to provide evidence.

Late on Thursday Trump insisted that “something happened” at the Wuhan lab. “Probably it was incompetence. Somebody was stupid,” he said.

The US secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, claimed earlier this week he had seen “enormous evidence” that the virus had originated at the lab, but has not released any evidence.

Pompeo has since walked back his remarks, telling a US radio station on Thursday: “there’s evidence that it came from somewhere in the vicinity of the lab, but that could be wrong.”

Chinese officials and state media have reacted harshly to the claims, accusing Trump, Pompeo, and US officials of blaming China to cover up US failings in its outbreak-response, and seeking to improve Trump’s electoral chances.

Read more via The Guardian/US Department of State/Reuters

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