Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo confirmed Thursday (June 3) that he faced fierce opposition from within the U.S. government in his efforts to find out how the Chinese Communist virus, also known as the New Coronavirus, spread from China to the United States.
Pompeo issued a statement from the secretary of state on Jan. 15 that included an important disclosure that researchers at the Wuhan Institute of Virus Research had developed symptoms of the virus months before the outbreak spread throughout China and other countries, including the United States.
The statement also mentioned that the Wuhan Institute of Virus was conducting functional enhancement experiments and asked whether U.S. taxpayer funds may have been diverted to secret Chinese military programs at the Wuhan Institute of Virus.
Pompeo confirmed on June 3 that even then it was a struggle to issue the statement.
“I began to realize at the end of 2020 that our confidence in the datapoint (datapoint) that was released in mid-January had multiplied.” Pompeo said. “The clock was ticking and I worked to get it within the State Department and even more broadly.”
He described how a major obstacle at the time was that important evidence was partially in the hands of intelligence agencies, which opposed its public release.
After the November 2020 election, Pompeo pushed within the State Department and the Trump administration for the public release of as much evidence as possible.
Pompeo said, “There are places other than the State Department that have data sets from the intelligence community, so we’ve been trying to get them to give us as much space as possible to write (the report).”
“We were drafting the rhetoric to both protect classified matters that needed to be protected, but we also wanted to make sure to make that information available to the public space.” He added.
The former secretary of state said he believed at the time that it was important to release the information, and even today he still believes equally that the American people deserve to know all the facts, and that the Chinese Communist government should be held accountable if the virus did leak from the Wuhan Virus Institute.
“There are two reasons for this. One, it’s a matter of transparency; and two, we want the Chinese Communist Party to also have to explain what we’ve learned about matters, so we have a very high degree of certainty about what we’re going to do,” Pompeo said. “This statement is extraordinarily well crafted, but it’s unambiguous.”
A former senior State Department official with direct knowledge of the matter also confirmed that Pompeo made it clear to everyone involved in the State Department’s investigation into the source of the virus that they were to pursue the facts, wherever they led.
When the investigation met with fierce opposition from within the U.S. government, the former senior official said Pompeo responded with a phrase that was a salty motto from his military career.
“(Pompeo) he said, ‘Screw them, tell them, it’s what the secretary of state said to do.’ And he said something very, very important. He said, ‘I don’t care what conclusions you guys dig up. Whatever it is that we like to hear politically, or whatever we don’t like to hear, I want to know the truth. That’s exactly the attitude of this panel throughout the investigation.” The former senior official repeated Pompeo’s words at the time, saying.
Pompeo said it was a “contentious battle” when Vanity Fair revealed on June 3 that key officials within the State Department tried to prevent the public from learning about U.S. funding to support function-enhancing research at the Wuhan Institute for Virus Research.
According to past records, the National Institutes of Health and a nonprofit foundation called the EcoHealth Alliance used U.S. tax dollars to fund part of the Wuhan Institute’s functional enhancement research back in 2012.
Vanity Fair reported that because of a conflict of interest, “stemming in part from the large government grants used to support controversial virology research, (this reason) is hampering the U.S. investigation into the origins of COVID-19 every step of the way.”
“At a State Department meeting, officials who requested transparency from the Chinese government said their colleagues explicitly told them not to explore the Wuhan Institute of Virology’s function-enhancing research because it would bring unwelcome attention to U.S. government funding for the Wuhan Institute of Virology.” The report reads.
Since the CCP virus first appeared in Wuhan in late 2019, the CCP has maintained that it was passed from bats to humans through a wholesale animal market in Wuhan. But some government and public health officials, private-sector scientists and investigative journalists have been more certain since early 2020 that there is overwhelming evidence that the virus somehow spread out of the Wuhan Virus Institute.
Then-Presidents Donald Trump (R-Texas) and Pompeo, as well as Senator Tom Cotton (R-Texas), publicly noted in April 2020 the possibility that the virus had been leaked from the Wuhan Institute of Virus Research and called on Chinese officials to allow independent investigators access to the Wuhan Institute of Virus Research and its experimental records. But the Chinese Communist Party has so far refused to cooperate with the investigation or provide this information.