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Top Pentagon official throws cold water on right wingers’ ‘Wuhan lab’ bioweapon conspiracy theory

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Some conspiracy theorists on the far right have been claiming that COVID-19 originated in a laboratory in Mainland China and that it was unleashed as a form of biological warfare. And others have claimed that COVID-19 originated in a Chinese lab and escaped because of carelessness — not as some type of bio attack. But according to Gen. Mark A. Milley, chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, the “weight of evidence” indicates that the deadly coronavirus has “natural” origins.

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On April 14, Milley told reporters at the Pentagon, “There’s a lot of rumor and speculation in a wide variety of media, blog sites, etc. It should be no surprise to you that we’ve taken a keen interest in that, and we’ve had a lot of intelligence look at that. And I would just say at this point, it’s inconclusive — although the weight of evidence seems to indicate natural. But we don’t know for certain.”

Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton, a far-right Republican and strident supporter of President Donald Trump, has, at times, floated the conspiracy theory that COVID-19 was unleashed as a bioweapon by the government in Mainland China. But The Guardian’s Julian Borger has noted that Cotton has also “argued (that) natural transmission from animals to humans — or a lab accident — were more likely scenarios.”

Borger observes, “Most scientists say that this coronavirus probably originated in bats but found its way to humans through an intermediary animal. There is no conclusive evidence that this happened at Wuhan’s notorious ‘wet’ markets, where wild animals were sold for meat. Analysis of the first 41 COVID-19 patients in medical journal The Lancet found that 27 of them had direct exposure to the Wuhan market, but the same analysis found that the first known case did not.”

 


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China vows to retaliate for Trump’s Rose Garden press conference — and could impose new sanctions on America

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US President Donald Trump said Tuesday he was ending preferential trade treatment for Hong Kong and had signed into law an act that authorises sanctions on banks over China's clampdown in the international finance hub.

In a discursive news conference dominated by attacks on his domestic rivals, Trump declared himself to be the toughest president ever on China, a country he is increasingly positioning as his nemesis ahead of November elections.

Trump announced that he had issued an executive order on Hong Kong as he predicted decline for the restless city, on which Beijing recently imposed a tough new security law.

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2020 Election

Trump’s former White House doctor Ronny Jackson wins GOP runoff for Congress in Texas

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Ronny Jackson, the former White House physician and President Donald Trump's onetime nominee for secretary of veterans affairs, has won his bid for the Republican nomination for a solidly red congressional seat in the Texas Panhandle.

With 100% of polling locations reporting, though some mail-in ballots will still need to be counted, Jackson held a lead of 11 percentage points over Josh Winegarner, a veteran agriculture expert and lobbyist. Jackson and Winegarner were competing for a seat being vacated by U.S. Rep. Mac Thornberry, R-Clarendon, who is retiring and held the seat since 1995.

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Ivanka Trump’s tweet raises eyebrows: ‘Why is a senior White House official endorsing a food product?’

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As her big brother was dragging their 14-year-old half brother into the 2020 campaign, senior White House advisor Ivanka Trump was endorsing a line of canned food products.

If it’s Goya, it has to be good. Si es Goya, tiene que ser bueno. pic.twitter.com/9tjVrfmo9z

— Ivanka Trump (@IvankaTrump) July 15, 2020

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