Wuhan lab denies claims of coronavirus origination

 

A Wuhan laboratory that has faced accusations that its employees manufactured the coronavirus has spoken out denying the claims. 

Yuan Zhiming, vice director of the Wuhan Institute of Virology, called the accusations a “conspiracy theory” in an interview with Chinese state broadcaster CGTN Saturday. 

“As people who carry out viral study, we clearly know what kind of research is going on in the institute and how the institute manages viruses and samples. As we said early on, there is no way this virus came from us," said Yuan, a microbiology and biotechnology expert.

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"We have a strict regulatory regime and code of conduct of research, so we are confident.”

The $44 million laboratory is based in Wuhan, China, where the virus is believed to have originated.

Defense of the laboratory comes as President TrumpDonald John TrumpIvanka Trump pitches Goya Foods products on Twitter Sessions defends recusal: 'I leave elected office with my integrity intact' Former White House physician Ronny Jackson wins Texas runoff MORE told reporters on Friday that "a lot of strange things are happening" as the U.S. investigates the origins of COVID-19.

This week, CNN reported U.S. officials are investigating the theory that some lawmakers have pushed postulating that the coronavirus outbreak began in a Chinese laboratory.

However, one White House source appeared to dismiss the theory in a statement to CNN, telling the network,"[E]very time there is an outbreak someone proposes that the virus or other pathogen came out of a lab."

The report came days after the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Army Gen. Mark Milley, told reporters that the U.S. intelligence community was taking "a hard look" at the theory.