02:42 GMT01 August 2021
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    Mike Pompeo, who was a Secretary of State under the former US president, Donald Trump, has been among vocal supporters of the theory that the COVID-19 coronavirus originated in a laboratory of China's Wuhan Institute of Virology.

    A former US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo on Wednesday expressed his concern that an unnamed substance or material could be "leaked" from a laboratory in Wuhan, apparently referring to his belief that the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic was manufactured in China.

    "This lab is still open, this lab is still operational", Pompeo said to Fox News. "I've seen no indication that they have increased their safety procedures in this laboratory. The risk of something like this will happen again is very real. We need to know if it came from that laboratory."

    He reiterated his claims that the Chinese Communist Party has been involved in a "coverup" of the origins of the coronavirus pandemic, asserting that Beijing watched "doctors die" and "journalists disappear".

    ​Pompeo is an apologist for suggestions that COVID-19 was manufactured in a Wuhan laboratory, although he has not offered evidence for his assertions in spite of earlier suggesting that there is a "pile of evidence a hundred feet high".

    The former state secretary has been one of the most vocal when it came to pointing fingers at Beijing for being responsible for the pandemic. The administration of Chinese President Xi Jinping has repeatedly denied the claims as politicized.

    The lab leak theory was debunked by a team of World Health Organization (WHO) scientists, who said in a report on the virus origins that such an option was "extremely unlikely", and offered that the disease could plausibly have been transmitted from animals to humans.

    US President Joe Biden has ordered national intelligence agencies to compile a report on the origins of the coronavirus within 90 days, pledging to make it public, unless something previously unknown emerges in the findings.

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    US, China, Mike Pompeo, Wuhan, COVID-19, coronavirus
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