“We’ve had a lot of intelligence, take a hard look at that,” Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Mark Milley told reporters Tuesday.”
The best U.S. general said evidence the coronavirus originated in a Chinese research lab is”inconclusive,” after a report in which U.S. officials warned of safety concerns at a research center in the city of Wuhan 2 years ago.
“We’ve had a lot of intellect take a hard look at this,” Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Mark Milley told reporters Tuesday. “At this point, it’s inconclusive, although the burden of the evidence seems to indicate natural. But we do not know for sure.”
The comments come hours after The Washington Post reported that U.S. officials were concerned about insufficient safety at a Wuhan lab that was running studies on coronavirus out of bats. According to the Post, the U.S. officials that had seen the lab discharged diplomatic wires in January 2018 back into Washington warning about safety and management weaknesses at the lab, and that the facility’s work on bat coronaviruses represented a probability of a new SARS-like pandemic.
Milley’s assessment contrasts with that of Brig. Gen. Paul Friedrichs, who shot down the thought that the virus originated from a lab as part of experiments between bioweapons.
“And if I could only be clear, there is nothing to that,” Friedrichs, the Joint Staff surgeon, stated on April 6. “Someone asked me when I was worried. That is hardly something which I’m concerned about. I think you understand now what we are worried about is how do we treat how can we prevent people from getting sick. But no, I’m not worried about this as a bioweapon.”