May 5, 2020 / 7:24 PM / a month ago

Top U.S. general: 'We don't know' if coronavirus emerged from Chinese lab

FILE PHOTO: U.S. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark A. Milley testifies before a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on "Department of Defense Budget Posture on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., March 4, 2020. REUTERS/Tom Brenner

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The top U.S. general said on Tuesday it was still unknown whether the coronavirus emerged from a wet market in China, a laboratory or some other location, but reaffirmed the U.S. view that it was probably not man-made.

“Did it come out of the virology lab in Wuhan? Did it occur in a wet market there in Wuhan? Did it occur somewhere else? And the answer to that is: We don’t know,” Army General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told a news conference, adding the U.S. government was looking into it.

The remarks stood in contrast to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s assessment on Sunday that there was “a significant amount of evidence” that the new coronavirus emerged from a Chinese laboratory.

Reporting by Phil Stewart and Idrees Ali; Editing by Chris Reese

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