Former deputy national security advisor: 'I think we can' find COVID-19's origin

Former deputy national security advisor: 'I think we can' find COVID-19's origin
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Former Deputy National Security Advisor Matthew Pottinger said that he believes it is possible to ascertain the origins of COVID-19 during a discussion of the Wuhan lab origin theory on Sunday.

"I think there's a lot that can be learned in 90 days,” Pottinger told “Meet the Press” host Chuck ToddCharles (Chuck) David ToddChuck Todd is dead wrong: Liberal bias defines modern journalism The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Officers recount the horror of Jan. 6 NFL Network's Rich Eisen says he has COVID-19 despite being vaccinated MORE on NBC, referring to President BidenJoe BidenThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - White House, Dems play blame game over evictions GOP skepticism looms over bipartisan spending deal Biden vaccine rule sets stage for onslaught of lawsuits MORE’s recent call for a 90-day report on the origins of COVID-19 from the U.S. intelligence community.

“It's conceivable that we'll have an answer and even if we come up short with a definitive answer, what we're gonna have is a foundation for additional revelations to come out from scientists around the world who are now going to be emboldened because they know that this is a priority of the United States,” Pottinger added.

Todd asked Pottinger if he believed a “definitive answer” about the origins of COVID-19 could be found even if the Chinese government is uncooperative.

“I think we can. It might take more than 90 days, but look, ... China has incredible and ethical scientists, many of whom in the early stages of the pandemic came out to say that they suspected that this was a lab leak,” Pottinger said.

“So those people have been systematically silenced by their government,” he added, saying a U.S.-led global effort to find the origins of COVID-19 may embolden these scientists to come forward.

During the interview, Todd also asked whether criticism of China, from former President TrumpDonald TrumpThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - White House, Dems play blame game over evictions The Memo: Left pins hopes on Nina Turner in Ohio after recent defeats Biden administration to keep Trump-era rule of turning away migrants during pandemic MORE, whom Pottinger served under, and others, slowed down inquiries into the origins of COVID-19.

"I think what slowed down efforts more than anything else, were the early statements that were published by a few scientists dismissing the idea that it could have come out of the lab and in fact caricaturing people who thought that it might have come out of the lab," Pottinger said.

"I think that this is more of an institutional shortcoming where the intelligence community, in truth, it really had really looked to the [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] to have the lead and to be the lead agency to monitor for outbreaks and the like," he added.