The U.S. government is investigating whether the new coronavirus may have originated not in a “wet market” but in a major virology lab in Wuhan, China — a charge that was denied by the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR), who was criticized for raising concerns about the lab in the early stages of the global outbreak, says the labs are still the “most plausible explanation” for the origin of the coronavirus. He dismissed the lab director’s denial as nothing more than the official “party line” pushed by the Communist Chinese government.
Lab director is Communist Party official
Sen. Cotton was asked to respond to the Wuhan lab director’s denial during an appearance Monday on Fox News’ “America’s Newsroom” with co-host Ed Henry, Breitbart reported.
“Let’s take a look at that laboratory director,” Cotton said. “He’s not just some independent, truth-seeking scientist, Ed, he is an official in the Chinese Communist Party who is toeing the party line.”
“We all know, and we’ve known since January, that that food market in Wuhan was not the source of this virus,” he continued. “Chinese scientists established that more than a third of all the original cases had no contact with the food market. The best evidence suggests that the kind of bat from which this virus jumped to humans wasn’t even present there.”
“Most plausible explanation”
“And then you have all the circumstantial evidence pointing at the labs in Wuhan,” Cotton said. “They did have those bats. They did research these coronaviruses. Our diplomats in China were worried about laboratory safety there. China has a history of bad laboratory safety.”
“All that circumstantial evidence points towards the labs and then, of course, you have the Chinese coverups, the lies, the disinformation and intimidation of any whistle-blowers,” he added. “That’s why the most plausible explanation for the origins of these viruses is one of those two labs in Wuhan.”
Henry asked Cotton for his reaction to news that other nations, such as Australia, were looking into launching an international investigation into the origins of the coronavirus pandemic. Cotton said he supported such a probe in general, but didn’t expect much to come of it.
“I don’t think an international investigation would hurt, but I don’t hold out much promise for it,” Cotton said. “Remember, China’s already destroyed a lot of the evidence here. They have disappeared people who were involved in the matter.”
“And even if the virus originated outside those labs in China, if it was naturally occurring, maybe at another food market, let’s recall China’s treachery in late December or early January,” the senator continued. “They knew, despite the lies they told the world, that this virus was highly contagious and transmissible from humans-to-humans and very deadly.”
“China has to pay the consequences”
“They locked down their own country, yet they continued to allow international air travel to other countries all around the world,” Cotton added. “That was a deliberate, evil act that unleashed this pandemic on the world. That’s why China has to pay the consequences.”
Exactly what sort of “consequences” Sen. Cotton has in mind for the communist regime in China remains unclear.