Chinese state media lashed out at US secretary of state Mike Pompeo and called him “insane” for his claims that the deadly COVID-19 originated in a Chinese lab without concrete proof.
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On Sunday, Pompeo said there was “enormous evidence” showing the coronavirus originated in a lab in Wuhan, even as the World Health Organization (WHO) previously dismissed similar claims. WHO emergencies director Michael Ryan said, “We have not received specific evidence from the US government relating to the purported origin of the virus. So from our perspective, this remains speculative.”
Titled “Evil Pompeo is wantonly spewing poison and spreading lies”, a commentary by Chinese broadcaster CCTV cited the WHO’s Ryan and Columbia University virologist Ian Lipkin, who are of the opinion that the virus has natural origins. “These flawed and unreasonable remarks by American politicians make it clear to more and more people that no ‘evidence’ exists,” it said. “The so-called ‘virus leaked from a Wuhan lab’ hype is a complete and utter lie.”
Commentaries in People’s Daily called Pompeo and ex-White House strategist Steve Bannon “lying clowns”.
China and the US have been at a war of words ever since US President Donald Trump called the COVID-19 "Chinese virus." Trump administration, who is critical of the way the mainland handled the outbreak, has been pushing the lab theory.
The US president has also stopped funding to the WHO for being "China centric".
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The novel coronavirus which originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan last December has so far infected more than 3.5 million people worldwide.