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China Admits to Destroying Early Coronavirus Samples But Insists It’s Not a Cover-up

China admitted on Friday to destroying early coronavirus samples at unauthorized laboratories in the country.
But Liu Dengfeng, a supervisor with China’s National Health Commission, says it was not an attempted cover-up.
China has acknowledged it destroyed early samples of COVID-19, confirming a claim put forward by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo late last month.
On Friday, Liu Dengfeng, a supervisor with China’s National Health Commission, admitted that ‘the Chinese government issued an order on January 3 to dispose of coronavirus samples’ at unauthorized laboratories, according to Newsweek.
But Liu denied that the samples were destroyed as part of a cover-up, insisting that they were disposed of so as to ‘prevent risk to laboratory biological safety and prevent secondary disasters caused by unidentified pathogens.’
He stated that the labs were ‘unauthorized’ to handle such samples, and they had to be terminated in order to comply with Chinese public health laws.
The admission comes amid souring diplomatic relations between the U.S. and China over the COVID-19 outbreak – which originated in Wuhan late last year.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo last month accused the Asian superpower of not being transparent about spread of the coronavirus.

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