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A cleaner wears a mask as she works at a hospital on March 12, 2020 in Wuhan, Hubei, China. Getty Images

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WASHINGTON, D.C., April 16, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – President Donald Trump affirmed that the United States is looking into the possibility that the coronavirus pandemic originated in a laboratory in Wuhan, China, and then spread due to lax safety standards. 

At Wednesday’s White House news conference, the President said, “We are doing a very thorough examination of this horrible situation that happened.”  

The President was responding to reporter John Roberts, who suggested that the United States “now has high confidence that while the coronavirus is a naturally occurring virus, it emanated from a virology lab in Wuhan; that because of lax safety protocols, an intern was infected who later infected her boyfriend, and then went to the ‘wet market’ in Wuhan where it began to spread.”  

The Chinese government ‘needs to come clean’

In an interview after the president’s remarks, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Beijing “needs to come clean” about what happened.

“What we do know (is) that this virus originated in Wuhan, China,” Pompeo told Fox News’ Martha MacCallum. “We know there is the Wuhan Institute of Virology just a handful of miles away from where the wet market was. There is still lots to learn. You should know that the United States government is working diligently to figure it out.”

“We really need the Chinese government to open up,” Pompeo declared

“There were days that went by from when the Chinese Communist Party’s leadership knew about this virus before they told the public” about the dangers involved, Pompeo said.   

“A lot of cases (and) a lot of movement; a lot of travel around the world before the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) came clean about what really transpired there,” Pompeo continued. “These are the kinds of things that open governments – democracies – don't do. It's why there's such risk associated with the absence of transparency. We need it still today.”

China put people around the world at risk

“I've talked to my counterparts all across the world over the past handful of days. They all see this too. It's very difficult to make the case that it was anything but absence of shared information in a timely fashion. It didn't just put Americans at risk; it put people all across the world at risk,” the Secretary of State continued. 

“The Chinese government needs to come clean,” Pompeo said. “It needs to be accountable.” 

“It needs to explain what happened and why it is the case that that information wasn't made more broadly available,” he said. “We could have done things differently. The world would have responded quickly.”

“Frankly, the international health organizations didn’t do us any favors either in making sure this information was broadcast in a way that it needed to be, with transparent and full information, ” he added.  

China ‘100 percent’ suppressed data 

“Multiple sources say ‘this may be the ‘costliest government cover-up of all time by China,’” Fox News anchor Bret Baier said.  

“There is growing belief that the COVID-19 virus originated in the Wuhan lab, not as a bioweapon, but as China's effort to find and deal with viruses to show the world that China is as good as or better than the U.S.” in identifying and combating viruses. 

“China ‘100 percent’ suppressed data and changed data,” according to Fox News’ sources. “Samples were destroyed, contaminated areas scrubbed, some early reports erased, and academic articles stifled.”

World Health Organization complicit

Sources also told Fox News that “The World Health Organization (WHO) was complicit from the beginning in helping China cover its tracks.” 

On Tuesday, President Trump announced that he had instructed his administration to halt funding to the WHO  “while a review is conducted to assess the World Health Organization’s role in severely mismanaging and covering up the spread of the coronavirus.”

Sen. Ted Cruz: Global pandemic, lives lost, at China's doorstep

“China has long been the most significant geopolitical threat the United States faces,” U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas said in a separate Fox News interview.  

“The communist government there engages in repression, it engages in torture of its citizens,” Cruz noted. “And we've always viewed it as a human rights offense when they censor and silence free speech.”

“We've now seen that it's not just a human rights threat, but it is also a threat to national security and global health,” he continued. “When it comes to this Wuhan outbreak, the Chinese communist government has direct responsibility, direct culpability for silencing, for covering it up.”

“When you had brave physician whistleblowers blowing the whistle, the Chinese government came down on them. They silenced them. They did everything they could to keep it quiet,” Cruz said. “And had they acted promptly, there may well have been a possibility this could have been contained as a regional outbreak. Instead, it became a global pandemic and the lives lost, many, of those are directly at China's doorstep.”

“There needs to be direct accountability,” Cruz said. “I introduced legislation today to sanction Chinese officials that are engaged in actively censoring and silencing public health information that endangers the lives of Americans and people across the globe.” 

In early February, as the scope of the coronavirus pandemic began to come into focus, in preemptive attempt to deflect blame from the CCP, Chinese Ambassador to the U.S. Cui Tiankai warned:

It’s very dangerous to stir up suspicion, rumors and spread them among the people. For one thing, this will create panic. Another thing that it will fend up racial discrimination, xenophobia … all these things, that will really harm our joint efforts to combat the virus.