Novel coronavirus, also called SARS-CoV-2 originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan, late in December. Unavailability of complete information on when did it originate and where has fueled several theories.
Virus' place of origin is widely believed to be a local wet market, where all types of exotic animals were slaughtered for consumption and it might have jumped from an animal source [probably bats] to humans. But, according to another theory, it was manufactured at Wuhan Institute of Virology, situated a few miles away from the wet market.
With 2020 being the election year in the US, for the country that has emerged as the worst-affected in this pandemic, the latter theory seems to suit its leadership. President Donald Trump on multiple occasions has criticized China for its mishandling of the initial outbreak and raised suspicion over its origin. At the press briefing on Thursday, he said he had evidence that the virus did in fact come from the Wuhan virus lab.
What did Trump say about Coronavirus origin?
At the White House press briefing on Thursday, April 30, Trump was asked if he had a high degree of confidence that the Wuhan Institute of Virology was the source of the outbreak. Trump replied in an affirmative. "Yes I have," he said. "And I think the World Health Organization should be ashamed of themselves, because they're like the public relations agency of China," he added, continuing his diatribe against both China and the WHO.
Pressed further by the reporter about what gives him a high level of confidence that the virus did originate in the lab, Trump denied answering any further. "I won't tell you that. I'm not allowed to tell you that," he said.
What did US intelligence agencies say about Coronavirus origin?
According to a statement released by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the US intelligence agencies have concluded that coronavirus is "not man-made or genetically modified," but they're still examining whether it jumped onto humans from an animal, or a result of an accident at the Wuhan lab, Associated Press reported.
"The Intelligence Community also concurs with the wide scientific consensus that the Covid-19 virus was not man-made or genetically modified," the statement read.
"The IC 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," it further added.