Livethread 11: Global COVID-19 Pandemic

From Australia:

PM Scott Morrison will not walk one inch down Donald Trump and Mike Pompeo’s conspiracy theory road, which holds that COVID-19 began life, or at least crossed from bats to humans, in the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

Morrison and Health Minister Greg Hunt should be applauded for demonstrating their independence from Washington, and their fidelity to the facts as they know them, when they repeatedly say, albeit in a low-key and non-confrontational way, that they have seen no evidence to suggest the virus began in a Chinese laboratory.

Consider what a strong repudiation of the Trump-Pompeo position this really is.

Trump and Pompeo have both said they have seen “enormous evidence” that the virus escaped from the Wuhan laboratory and went on to infect the world.

Pompeo is the most credible senior figure in the Trump administration on security matters and he is widely seen as a restraining influence on Trump.

But Pompeo has maintained his influence in part by never, ever contradicting Trump, or even distancing himself from the President in the slightest way.

The Trump administration cannot get any non-political person at the top of US intelligence to back their explosive claims.

American national security officials have said they believe the virus most likely crossed from bats to humans, possibly through another animal, at a wild meat wet market in Wuhan.

Even more important, US allies, both those within the Five Eyes group (US, Australia, UK, Canada, New Zealand) and those outside it, do not give any backing to the Trump-Pompeo line.

Published at Sat, 11 Apr 2020 13:25:25 +0000