Fox News anchor Chris Wallace confronted former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Sunday over the lack of hard evidence provided by the Trump administration to prove that COVID-19 originated from a Chinese lab, telling Pompeo he had “almost a year” to prove the theory.
With circumstantial evidence indicating that it is possible that the virus behind a worldwide pandemic could have leaked out of a lab in Wuhan, President Joe Biden has called for the intelligence community to “redouble” its probe into the origins of COVID-19.
The about-face on the credibility of the lab leak theory came in part after it was reported that Wuhan researchers were hospitalized with coronavirus-like symptoms in November 2019. Even top infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci, while still maintaining his belief that the virus likely jumped species in nature, says he cannot dismiss the possibility that it leaked from a lab, and supports further investigation.
During an appearance on Fox News Sunday, Pompeo—an early and loud proponent of the Wuhan lab leak theory—found himself pressed on what he personally did to gather enough evidence to support the claims.
“You also criticize President Biden for not pushing hard enough on China to learn the origins of the coronavirus, but I want to again go back to your administration and the record there,” Wallace said. “President Trump and his team, including you, had almost a year after COVID-19 first came on the scene, to really press Beijing on what the origins were when the evidence was much fresher.”
The veteran anchor continued: “There’s no question that the president pulled back from the WHO, the World Health Organization, but what did President Trump and his administration, including his secretary of state, do to press China harder to get the evidence on where the COVID-19 virus came from? Because we still don’t know.”
Pompeo, who is now a Fox News contributor, basically tried to brush off Wallace, telling the Fox News Sunday moderator that “the predicate of your question is all wrong” while claiming the Trump administration had done more than enough to prove its case.
“We have a really good idea what happened here,” he declared, adding, dubiously, “There is an enormous amount of evidence that there was a leak from the Wuhan Institute of Virology. There’s a pile of evidence 100 feet high. I have high confidence that that’s the case.”
“We pressed the Chinese Communist Party really hard,” the ex-secretary of state continued. “We withdrew from the WHO, which had become politicized. This administration chose to get back into that. I don’t know what tools they think they’re going to use. But we were serious in this endeavor. We made it clear that there would be real consequences for the Chinese Communist Party.”
Pompeo went on to say that Team Trump “got very close to being able to make a lay-down case for what actually happened,” adding that we “know enough now” and the “coverup continues” by the Chinese government.
“Do you think that the virus came from a lab leak from the Wuhan Institute?” Wallace flatly asked.
“I do,” Pompeo answered.
While Pompeo says that he came “very close” to proving the lab leak theory, it was revealed last month that the Biden administration ended up shutting down a Pompeo-led State Department investigation into the origins of the virus due to concerns over the quality of its work.
According to CNN, while those involved in the inquiry insisted it was a good-faith attempt to probe the lab leak theory, the investigation “quickly became mired in internal discord amid concerns that it was part of a broader politicized effort by the Trump administration to blame China and cherry-pick facts to prove a theory.”
Meanwhile, Pompeo’s claim that the new administration was letting China off the hook was disproven almost exactly as he spoke. On Sunday, Biden convinced G7 leaders to call on Beijing for a transparent inquiry into the origins of COVID-19.