China says WHO has said no evidence coronavirus was made in a lab

April 17, 2020 - 12:01 PM
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian attends a news conference in Beijing, China April 8, 2020. (Reuters/Carlos Garcia Rawlins)

BEIJING, April 16 (Reuters) – China’s foreign ministry said on Thursday the World Health Organization has said there is no evidence that the coronavirus that has infected more than 2 million people globally was made in a lab.

Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian made the remark in response to a question about accusations the coronavirus originated in a lab in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, where the epidemic first emerged in late 2019.

Zhao told reporters during a daily briefing in Beijing that the World Health Organization’s officials “have said multiple times there is no evidence the new coronavirus was created in a laboratory.”

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Wednesday his government is trying to determine whether the coronavirus emanated from a lab in Wuhan, China, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Beijing “needs to come clean” on what they know.

Zhao did not directly address Trump‘s comments. —Reporting by Gabriel Crossley; writing by Se Young Lee; Editing by Toby Chopra