Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Tuesday that he still believes the novel coronavirus originated in a Chinese lab despite the World Health Organization (WHO) saying that theory is unlikely.
Pompeo appeared on Fox News’ “America’s Newsroom” and watched as host Bill Hemmer played clips from a May 2020 interview, where he stated that “there is a significant amount of evidence” that the virus came from a lab in the Wuhan province of China. (RELATED: Chinese Ambassador Calls For WHO Investigation Into US Over Coronavirus Origins)
“How do we look at that now, sir?” asked Hemmer after playing the clips.
“Well Bill, I’ve seen that headline and I must say the reason we left the World Health Organization was because we came to believe that it was corrupt. It had been politicized. It was bending a knee to General Secretary Xi Jinping in China,” Pompeo responded. “I hope that’s not the case here with what they have announced today. I’ll look forward to seeing their reports and analysis.”
The WHO began an international mission to China in January to investigate the origins of the novel coronavirus. They released their findings on Tuesday and reported that it was “extremely unlikely” the virus leaked from a lab. They added that the lab hypothesis would no longer be “suggested” in “future study.”
Pompeo and former President Donald Trump’s administration took a hardline approach to China over its handling of the coronavirus, and accused the WHO of working with China to cover up the extent of the virus in the early days of the pandemic. The WHO has also been criticized for praising China’s “transparency” in handling the virus. The U.S. formally announced its intention to leave the WHO last summer, but President Joe Biden halted the exit after taking office in January.
“I don’t believe it’s the case that they got access that they needed. I know they didn’t get access they needed in a timely fashion and I hope they got to see all the data, all the science, into the lab, talked to the doctors, interview them, interview them in private in places where they could actually tell the truth about what took place, not under the supervision of a Communist party person sitting in the back of the room making sure that they toed the Communist party line,” Pompeo continued. “I look forward to seeing the results. I continue to know that there was significant evidence, Bill, that this may well have come from that laboratory.”
“So, nothing has changed in your view that it came from the lab?” Hemmer asked.
“Not a thing,” Pompeo responded.