Former US president Donald Trump says he was informed bodies were being piled up at the Wuhan Institute of Virology and believes it is "obvious" Covid-19 was leaked by scientists.
The theory continues to gather momentum and was routinely pushed by Trump's administration during his final months in office, particularly former secretary of state Mike Pompeo who said Washington had significant evidence the virus had leaked from the lab.
Trump double-downed on those claims when interviewed for the new Sky News Australia documentary What Really Happened in Wuhan.
He said all evidence points to the Wuhan Institute of Virology, The Australian reported.
“Some of the intelligence is classified … but commonsense tells you it most likely – and when I say most likely, like 95 per cent – came from the Wuhan lab,” he said.
“I don’t know if they had bad thoughts or whether it was gross incompetence, but one way or the other, it came out of Wuhan, and it came from the Wuhan lab.”
He said one indication was the early emergence of stories filtering into his office about body bags being piled up outside the lab.
Pompeo said the evidence piled up against the lab is "enormous" and the US had a large presence of officials in Wuhan in late 2019.
He says the US has intelligence three scientists at the lab fell ill two months before the first cases of Covid were officially reported in December 2019.
Former US director of national intelligence John Ratcliffe says those scientists are now missing.
Another claim that was delivered to Trump was that a lab worker left for lunch and met his girlfriend, infecting her with the virus.
"I think it escaped from the lab through incompetence."
Deleted documents detail lab expenditure before outbreak
The documentary is in conjunction with journalist Sharri Markson's upcoming book of the same name.
It details how recovered online documents reveal the institute spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in the months prior to Beijing announcing the first cases of Covid.
Included in the expenditure was a coronavirus PCR testing machine, a new air ventilation system and a new medical waste incinerator.
The expenditure began in September and coincided with the lab reportedly deleting its virus database, The Australian reported.
China has repeatedly refuted claims the virus originated in the lab and has responded furiously to such claims.
Its foreign ministry has routinely pointed the finger instead at the US and other European countries, suggesting the virus originated earlier in 2019 overseas.
Initially criticised for his soft approach with China, World Health Organisation chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus surprisingly questioned the findings of a joint mission into the origins of the virus earlier this year calling on more to be done to investigate the lab leak theory and called for a new team of experts in the process.
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