Mike Pompeo Claims Intel Officials 'Didn't Want to Talk' About Wuhan Lab Leak Theory

Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo claimed intelligence officials "didn't want the world to know" that the Chinese government was trying to cover up the origins of COVID, and that they were happy to "stay focused on other things."

The ex-Trump administration official told Fox News that there were "folks all over the [intelligence] community" who didn't want to talk about the possibility that COVID originated from the Wuhan Institute of Virology in China.

He also alleged that his team faced bureaucratic hurdles as they attempted to declassify intelligence on the Wuhan lab and share it with the American public during the final year of the Trump administration.

Speaking on The Ingraham Angle on Thursday, Pompeo said: "We worked diligently to get the intelligence community to declassify more. [Former Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe] was a great partner in trying to do that, but there were folks all over the community who just didn't want to talk about this, who wanted to stay focused on other things.

"They didn't want the world to know that the Chinese Communist Party was in the process of covering-up, it turns out, what might have been several million losses of life."

When Fox News host Laura Ingraham asked Pompeo why intelligence officials would want to cover for the Chinese government, the former secretary of state said he would "leave that to others to speculate."

Earlier in the interview, Pompeo said there were "big fights" over the declassification of intelligence on COVID's origin, and pointed the finger at officials at the National Institutes of Health.

But he also praised the "good work" of his State Department team, and noted that the Trump administration was able to publish information on activity at the Wuhan lab on January 15. Newsweek has contacted the State Department for comment.

The Wall Street Journal first reported on May 23 that three researchers from the Wuhan Institute of Virology became so sick in November 2019 that they sought hospital treatment, citing a U.S. intelligence report.

The fact sheet released by the State Department on January 15 said staff at the lab had also shown "symptoms consistent with both COVID-19 and common seasonal illnesses" around the time it's believed the COVID-19 outbreak began.

President Joe Biden last month ordered U.S. intelligence officials to investigate the origins of COVID. The move suggested his administration was taking the Wuhan lab leak theory seriously.

The precise origin of the virus is still unknown, and many scientists still believe COVID most likely evolved naturally, rather than being engineered.

Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo
Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks to the media with members of the Republican Study Committee about Iran on April 21, 2021, in Washington, DC. Joshua Roberts/Getty Images