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 ToddNFL Network's Rich Eisen says he has COVID-19 despite being vaccinated Newsmax host suggests vaccines 'against nature' Senate Armed Services chair: 'I think Kabul will hold' MORE on NBC, referring to President BidenJoe BidenTrump hails Arizona Senate for audit at Phoenix rally, slams governor Republicans focus tax hike opposition on capital gains change Biden on hecklers: 'This is not a Trump rally. Let 'em holler' 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 TrumpTrump hails Arizona Senate for audit at Phoenix rally, slams governor Arkansas governor says it's 'disappointing' vaccinations have become 'political' Watch live: Trump attends rally in Phoenix 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.