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German spy agency doubts US 'China lab' coronavirus accusations: Report

  • News Desk

    Reuters

Berlin, Germany   /   Fri, May 8, 2020   /   04:57 pm
German spy agency doubts US 'China lab' coronavirus accusations: Report This file photo taken on April 17, 2020 shows an aerial view of the P4 laboratory at the Wuhan Institute of Virology in Wuhan in China's central Hubei province. - The Chinese biosafety laboratory accused by top US officials of being at the origin of the coronavirus pandemic studies the world's most dangerous diseases, with researchers who investigate viruses that live in bats. (AFP/Hector Retamal)

A German intelligence report casts doubts on US allegations that COVID-19 originated in a Chinese laboratory and says the accusations are an attempt to divert attention from US failure to rein in the disease, Der Spiegel magazine reported on Friday.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Sunday there was "a significant amount of evidence" that the coronavirus had emerged from a Chinese laboratory, but did not dispute US intelligence agencies' conclusion that it was not man-made.

Spiegel said Germany's BND spy agency had asked members of the US-led "Five Eyes" intelligence alliance for evidence to support the accusation. None of the alliance's members, the United States, Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, wanted to support Pompeo's claim, it said.

An intelligence report prepared for German Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer concluded that the US accusations were a deliberate attempt to divert public attention away from President Donald Trump's "own failures".

A German government spokesman was not immediately available for comment.

Trump has said he has evidence the virus could have originated in a Chinese lab, but he has declined to elaborate.

US deaths from the coronavirus exceeded 75,000 on Thursday, according to a Reuters tally, with mixed messages from the White House and state governments on how to slow the rate of infection.

Deaths in the United States, the epicenter of the pandemic, have averaged 2,000 a day since mid-April.