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Cruz, who was interviewed on “Sunday Morning Futures,” called China the greatest geopolitical threat to the United States.
“The most important long-term, national-security-informed policy consequence of this coronavirus pandemic is going to be a fundamental reassessment of the United States’ relationship with China,” Cruz said. “China is the most significant geopolitical threat to the United States for the next century.”
Cruz added: “If you look at the pandemic itself, the communist government in China bears enormous responsibility, enormous direct culpability for this pandemic. We know they covered it up. We know that when heroic whistleblower doctors tried to draw attention to it last December, the Chinese government shut them up and punished them.”
The Republican lawmaker’s comments came the same day that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told ABC News’ “This Week” there was “enormous evidence” that the novel coronavirus originated in a lab in the central Chinese city of Wuhan.
The Office of the Director of National Intelligence confirmed for the first time last Thursday that the U.S. intelligence community has been investigating whether the coronavirus outbreak, which has wreaked havoc across the globe, started as the result of an accident at the Wuhan laboratory.
Fox News first reported earlier this month that there has been increasing confidence that the outbreak likely escaped from the lab, not as a bioweapon but as part of a Chinese effort to show that its efforts to identify and combat viruses are equal or greater than those of the U.S. This would be at odds with claims the outbreak originated at a wet market nearby.
A research dossier compiled by the so-called “Five Eyes” intelligence alliance, which reportedly concluded China intentionally hid or destroyed evidence of the coronavirus pandemic, was consistent with U.S. findings about the origins of the outbreak so far, senior U.S. officials told Fox News on Saturday.
A senior intelligence source told Fox News most, as many as 70-75 percent, of the 17 U.S. intelligence agencies have believed it came from a laboratory, but the remaining agencies could not yet agree as there was no “smoking gun.”
The source said the agencies have come down to two potential origins for the accident -- animal-human transmission, or a mistake in the lab, but there was evidence of both options with most leaning toward the laboratory explanation -- although both scenarios would be attributable to mistakes.
Meanwhile, no public evidence has yet been presented to point definitively to the lab scenario, and defense sources who have spoken to Fox News said it was being viewed as simply one of two theories about how the outbreak began.
Fox News’ Adam Shaw and Fox Business’ Maria Bartiromo contributed to this report.