The State Department is questioning the origins of the coronavirus and the Chinese Communist Party's stance that the deadly virus started in a wet market in Wuhan.
The Trump administration has reason to believe researchers at the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) may have had COVID-19 before the first cases were officially reported.
One of the main concerns is that WIV, China's first level four biosafety lab, houses three different variations of the bat strain of the coronavirus.
"The virus could have emerged naturally from human contact with infected animals, spreading in a pattern consistent with a natural epidemic. Alternatively, a laboratory accident could resemble a natural outbreak if the initial exposure included only a few individuals and was compounded by asymptomatic infection," the state department said in a newly-published fact sheet. "Scientists in China have researched animal-derived coronaviruses under conditions that increased the risk for accidental and potentially unwitting exposure."
The other concern is whether or not WIV was working on behalf of the Chinese military, something they have a history of doing.
"Despite the WIV presenting itself as a civilian institution, the United States has determined that the WIV has collaborated on publications and secret projects with China’s military," the report said. "The WIV has engaged in classified research, including laboratory animal experiments, on behalf of the Chinese military since at least 2017."
The department stated other previous epidemics began because of China's obsession with studying various types of coronaviruses, especially since the SARS outbreak in 2003.
The CCP's secrecy and lies have prevented independent researchers and health care officials from interviewing those at the WIV who were sick with COVID-like symptoms in the fall of 2019. Not having that information makes it virtually impossible to properly identify how the Wuhan coronavirus began.
"Secrecy and non-disclosure are standard practice for Beijing. For many years the United States has publicly raised concerns about China’s past biological weapons work, which Beijing has neither documented nor demonstrably eliminated, despite its clear obligations under the Biological Weapons Convention," the report explained.
The World Health Organization has researchers deploying to China to investigate the cause of the virus. The State Department is calling on the WIV to hand over all their records on their work involving bats and other coronavirus before the start of the pandemic.