China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs has dismissed U.S. officials' claims that a lab leak is the most likely explanation of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning addressed the issue Wednesday during a press conference.
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"The origins-tracing is a complex matter of science. This study should be and can only be conducted jointly by scientists around the world," Mao told reporters.
"'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," she continued. "It was accurately recorded in the mission’s report and has received extensive recognition from the international community and the science community."
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FBI Director Christopher Wray told Fox News' "Special Report" the COVID-19 pandemic was likely caused by a lab leak in Wuhan, China.
"The FBI has for quite some time now assessed that the origins of the pandemic are most likely a potential lab incident in Wuhan," Wray said in an interview that aired Tuesday. "Here you are talking about a potential leak from a Chinese government-controlled lab."
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Wray said the FBI has specialists who focus on "the dangers of biological threats, which include things like novel viruses like COVID, and the concerns that they [are] in the wrong hands [of] some bad guys, a hostile nation state, a terrorist, a criminal."
Mao accused Wray and other U.S. officials backing the lab leak theory of "political manipulation" and cited a "track record" of "making up stories," claiming they lack credibility.
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"China strongly opposes political manipulation of the origins-tracing issue in any form. Putting the intelligence community in charge of a matter of science is a clear sign that the issue has been politicized," Mao told the press Wednesday.
She added, "Given the U.S. intelligence community’s track record of making up stories, there is little, if any, credibility in their conclusions. The US will not succeed in discrediting China by rehashing the "lab leak" theory, but will only hurt the U.S.’s own reputation."
Wray's comments come after the Department of Energy has also recently assessed that the COVID-19 pandemic was likely caused by an accidental lab leak in China.
The National Intelligence Council as well as four other government agencies assess at "low confidence" that COVID-19 originated as a result of natural transmission from an infected animal, but the CIA and other government agencies remain undecided.
Fox News' Adam Sabes contributed to this report.