Politics

US shared intel with UK showing ‘high likelihood’ of COVID-19 lab leak: report

Mike Pompeo, when he was U.S. secretary of state, shared intel with the United Kingdom during the COVID-19 pandemic suggesting a ‘high likelihood’ that the deadly coronavirus leaked from a Chinese lab, according to The Telegraph.

An intelligence alliance known as ‘Five Eyes’ reportedly met in January 2021 to discuss the lab-leak theory, the outlet reported. Around the same time, Pompeo is said to have shared information from classified American reports put together by the State Department to then-U.K. Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, as well as representatives from New Zealand, Canada and Australia. 

The British newspaper says two former Trump administration officials believe Raab – and the U.K. government as a whole – ignored the lab leak theory due to pressure from government scientists who leaned toward the theory that the illness had been transferred from animals to humans. 

‘We saw several pieces of information and thought that they were, frankly, gobsmacking,’ one former official who worked on the intelligence in Pompeo’s report told The Telegraph. ‘They obviously pointed to the high likelihood that this was indeed a lab leak.’

The reports, consisting of information collected in the early days of the pandemic, were also shared with the U.K. via Five Eyes between October and December 2020. Five Eyes consists of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Information in one document obtained by The Telegraph states U.S. officials accused Chinese officials of ‘stonewalling,’ as well as ‘gross corruption and ineptitude.’ The information also reportedly showed that the Chinese military had been working with the Wuhan Institute of Virology for years before the pandemic, and that lab researchers got sick soon before COVID-19 was first reported in the area. 

On May 1, the U.S. House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic called for a criminal probe into the origins of the COVID-19 virus.

The demands for an investigation come after the release of an interim staff report accusing EcoHealth Alliance President Dr. Peter Daszak of funding ‘dangerous gain-of-function research in Wuhan, China, without sufficient oversight.’

EcoHealth Alliance is a non-governmental organization based in the United States and focused on researching pandemic prevention.

According to congressional lawmakers, EcoHealth used taxpayer dollars ‘to fund dangerous gain-of-function research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV)’ in China. 

The NGO disputes that claim.

Fox News Digital previously reported that EcoHealth Alliance received millions of dollars in grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and that U.S. taxpayer funds flowed to Chinese entities conducting coronavirus research through EcoHealth Alliance.

Fox News’ Timothy H.J. Nerozzi and Brooke Singman contributed to this report. 

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