Washington, United States:
President Donald Trump's government is pressing for an investigation into the causes of the coronavirus pandemic. It doesn't rule out that it comes from a laboratory that researches bats in Wuhan, China.
Beijing has said that the virus, which has killed more than 138,700 people worldwide, is likely to have been transmitted to humans at a "wet market" in Wuhan where exotic animals were slaughtered late last year – a longstanding focus that experts on public Health worries.
But the Washington Post and Fox News both cited anonymous sources that raised concerns that SARS CoV-2 could – accidentally – come from a sensitive bioresearch center in the metropolis.
"We are investigating everything we can to find out how this virus escaped, went out into the world and has now caused so much tragedy – so much death – here in the US and in the US around the world, "Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told Fox News.
He did not reject the reports, saying that the United States knew that the Wuhan laboratory "contained highly contagious materials."
"In countries that are open and transparent, they have the ability to control and protect them, and they enable external observers to ensure that all processes and procedures are correct," said Pompeo.
"I just wish that would have happened in this place. We would know more about it and we would know more about what happened there, if at all."
Trump, who was asked about the laboratory theory at a press conference on Wednesday, said that "more and more we hear the story" and that the United States "is conducting a very thorough investigation."
Trump, who has been heavily criticized at home for dealing with the pandemic that killed more than 30,000 people in the United States, has repeatedly accused China and the World Health Organization.
The origin of the virus is a popular topic on social media. Conspiracy theorists claim it is a Chinese bio-weapon and a Chinese official who upset Washington by saying that US troops may have brought it to Wuhan.
Neither Fox News nor the Washington Post said the virus was deliberately spread or that the laboratory was definitely designated as the source.
A column by Washington Post columnist Josh Rogin said US embassy officials visited the Wuhan Institute of Virology two years before the pandemic and warned of insufficient safety in the laboratory that examined bats responsible for the 2003 SARS corona virus were made.
Fox News said that "patient zero" in the new pandemic may have been infected by a bat in the laboratory and spread to the Wuhan population.