Scientists believe the killer virus jumped from animals to humans, emerging in China late past year, possibly from a market in Wuhan selling exotic animals for meat.
"These are not the first times that we've had a world exposed to viruses as a result of failures in a Chinese lab", Pompeo went on to say.
Critics have pointed out that by leaning into President Trump's rhetoric, Pompeo is setting a potentially worrisome precedent.
Pompeo declined to say whether he believed the virus was intentionally released from the Wuhan Institute of Virology, a top-level lab where researchers studied how coronaviruses can transmit from animals to humans.
The Office of the Director of National Intelligence this past week released a statement saying the virus did originate in China and the Chinese Communist Party proactively stockpiled medical supplies before COVID-19 spread internationally.
Fox News first reported earlier this month that there is increasing confidence that the outbreak likely escaped from the lab, not as a bioweapon but as part of a Chinese effort to show that its efforts to identify and combat viruses are equal or greater than those of the U.S. This would be at odds with claims the outbreak originated at a wet market nearby. "I can tell you that there is a significant amount of evidence that this came from that laboratory in Wuhan".
Pompeo seemingly steadied now, answered, "I've seen what the intelligence community has said". We took a lot of grief for that from the outset.
As Pompeo pointed the finger at China, domestic United States protests have been slammed by top officials for risking the health of vulnerable Americans. "I'm not allowed to tell you that". "It employed the World Health Organization as a tool to do the same". "I have no reason to doubt that that is accurate", he said. But Pompeo's mixed messages line up perfectly with the Trump administration's continued attempts to raise unsubstantiated theories regarding China's culpability with the virus, a tact that allies of the president hope will deflect criticism of his mishandling of the crisis and help his reelection chances.
Warren Buffett Says Coronavirus Cannot Stop America, Despite Huge Berkshire Loss
The investment firm repurchased $1.7 billion of its own stock in the first quarter, but that was less than the prior quarter. Mr Buffett said he had been considering investing in additional airlines before the pandemic hit.