Relations between the US and China seem to be getting worse by the day, as Beijing pushes back against renewed White House insistence that the coronavirus originated in a Chinese lab. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is leading the White House charge, and he's taking the brunt of criticism from China's government. Coverage:
- Pompeo: He said Sunday there's "enormous evidence" that COVID-19 originated in a lab in Wuhan, reports Axios. "These are not the first times that we have had the world exposed to viruses as a result of failures in a Chinese lab," he said. Pompeo didn't provide specifics to back up his claim.
- New twist: The consensus among scientists and the intelligence community is that the virus isn't man-made or genetically modified, explains the New York Times. The White House isn't necessarily disputing that. A new theory is that a coronavirus was being studied in animals in the lab, and it jumped to a human accidentally, perhaps when an infected animal was improperly disposed of. From there, the virus spread in Wuhan. Axios adds: "This is plausible, but there is no direct or public evidence to support it."