US allies tread lightly around Trump lab claims


While the Trump administration has publicly pushed the line that the coronavirus outbreak originated in a laboratory accident in China, some of its close allies are more cautious. UK officials believe it is not possible to be absolutely sure about the origins but point to scientific opinion suggesting the most likely scenario is that it was from a live animal market. However, they add that it is impossible to rule out the theory of an accidental release from a lab without a full investigation.

Their view echoes comments on Tuesday by Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who said: “We can’t rule out any of these arrangements… but the most likely has been in a wildlife wet market.” In the US, the intelligence community has also been more cautious in its public position than its political leaders and, last week, it issued a carefully worded statement.(BBC)…[+]