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Head of China’s CDC in 2019 says there’s ‘no evidence’ coronavirus came from animals

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Wuhan Lab

More than three years after the global coronavirus pandemic outbreak, conflicting information from the heads of China and the United States’ Center for Disease Control and Prevention continues to emerge.

George Gao, China’s former head for the CDC said Friday there is no evidence that COVID-19 came from an animal and jumped to humans. Gao served as head of China’s CDC at the end of 2019 when coronavirus first emerged from Wuhan, China.

“Even now, people think some animals are the host or reservoir,” George Gao said at a summit in London. “Cut a long story short, there is no evidence which animals (were) where the virus comes (from).”

Dr. Anthony Fauci told CNN in an interview over the weekend that a lab leak could still be considered a “natural occurrence.” Fox News reports that the World Health Organization has said that all hypotheses for the origins of COVID-19 remain on the table, including that the virus is linked to a high-security laboratory for the study of dangerous pathogens in Wuhan.

Despite Gao’s statement, China has been unwilling to share information nor help investigators look into the origin of the virus. China has also dismissed the theory that it originated from its Wuhan lab.

However, several government agencies in the United States, including the FBI, have concluded that the lab leak theory is the “most likely” origin of the virus.

Last month, a Chinese official dismissed the FBI’s conclusion that the lab leak theory was the likely origin.

“‘A laboratory origin of the pandemic was considered to be extremely unlikely’ is a science-based, authoritative conclusion reached by the experts of the WHO-China joint mission after field trips to the lab in Wuhan and in-depth communication with researchers,” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning said.

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China

Analysis: Biden unlikely to sanction Iran’s oil exports, gas prices ‘critical during an election year’

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Analysts say President Joe Biden is unlikely to “prompt dramatic sanctions action on Iran’s oil exports” due to “worries about boosting oil prices and angering top buyer China” according to Reuters.

Speaking to Fox News on Sunday, House Republican Representative Steve Scalise, said the administration had made it easier for Iran to sell its oil, generating revenues that were being used to “go fund terrorist activity.”

The Biden administration has maintained for months that among its primary goals is to keep the Gaza conflict between terror group Hamas and Israel from turning into a wider regional war. However, House Republican leaders accused President Joe Biden of failing to enforce existing measures and said they would take up this week a series of bills to sharpen sanctions on Iran.

Kimberly Donovan, a sanctions and anti-money laundering expert at the Atlantic Council, said that oil-related sanctions have not been strictly enforced in the past couple of years.

“I would not expect the administration to tighten enforcement in response to Iran’s missile and drone attacks against Israel over the weekend, mainly for concerns (that) could lead to increases in oil prices,” she said.

“The price of oil and ultimately the prices of gas at the pump become critical during an election year.”
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