“We’re looking at exactly where it came from, who it came from, how it happened,” said President Trump in a response to a question about the origins of the coronavirus Thursday afternoon.
Asked if he had seen “anything” that gave him a “high degree of confidence” that the Wuhan Institute of Virology – the P4 lab near the Chinese wet market where the coronavirus outbreak may have began – was the origin of the virus, Trump responded:
“Yes, I have. Yes, I have. And I think that the World Health Organization should be ashamed of themselves. Because they’re like the public relations agency for China. And this country pays them almost $500m a year.”
President Trump went on: “They shouldn’t be making excuses when people are making horrible mistakes. Especially mistakes that are causing hundreds of thousands of people around the world to die.”
Asked in a follow up question what gave him such confidence, he said: “I can’t tell you that. I’m not allowed to tell you that.”
The speculation over the origins of the coronavirus have been the subject of intense scrutiny as of late, but were first questioned by former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon on Episode 1 of his War Room: Pandemic podcast back in January.
While establishment media outlets have poured scorn on the matter, U.S. intelligence agencies have remained skeptical over the official explanation for the virus.
The Office of the Director of National Intelligence said Thursday morning: “The entire Intelligence Community has been consistently providing critical support to U.S. policymakers and those responding to the COVID-19 virus, which originated in China,” the ODNI said in a statement. “The Intelligence Community also concurs with the wide scientific consensus that the COVID-19 virus was not manmade or genetically modified.”