Back in 2016, Chinese scientists studied the RaTG13 bat coronavirus, which is more than 96% identical to COVID-19, the head of the State Department said.
In the United States, there is reason to believe that several Chinese scientists at the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) contracted coronavirus in the summer of 2019 – before the first reported case.
This is stated in a statement by Secretary of State Michael Pompeo, made public on Friday, January 15, on the State Department website.
According to the head of the State Department, the US government is sharing new data on activities in government laboratories in China to help the World Health Organization mission in Wuhan.
Back in 2016, Chinese researchers studied the RaTG13 bat coronavirus, which is more than 96% identical to COVID-19, Pompeo said. However, the institute kept silent about “experiments to increase the infectivity or lethality” of the virus.
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Also, the secretary of state claims that the Wuhan Institute of Virology is associated with the military programs of Beijing.
“Despite the WIV presenting itself as a civilian institution, the WIV has collaborated on publications and secret projects with China’s military,” the statement said.
Finally, Pompeo called on the Chinese authorities to ensure that WHO experts have access to all facilities, laboratory data, staff, eyewitnesses and complainants.
The COVID-19 pandemic could have been avoided. Any responsible country would have invited global health experts to Wuhan within days of the outbreak. Instead, China refused offers of help and punished brave Chinese doctors, scientists and journalists who tried the dangers of the virus, said the head of the State Department.