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Trump suggests he's seen evidence indicating coronavirus originated in China lab
President Trump said Thursday he has seen evidence suggesting the coronavirus originated from a laboratory in China, while continuing his criticism of the World Health Organization's ties to Beijing, comparing the U.N.-backed agency to a public relations firm.
Trump was speaking to reporters about protecting America's senior citizens when Fox News and others asked if he had reason to believe the outbreak originated in the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
"Yes, I have," he said, without further explanation. "And, I think that the World Health Organization should be ashamed of themselves because they’re like the public relations agency for China."
An investigation has been ongoing into whether the pandemic was the result of an accident at the Wuhan lab, intelligence officials confirmed to Fox News on Thursday – in what would be a contradiction from the broad consensus that it originated at a wet market in the city.
The president had previously speculated on whether China knew about the virus sooner than it has led on and withheld information about the outbreak.
"So far I think China is trying to be ... somewhat transparent with us, but we're going to find out," Trump said. "It's a terrible thing that happened. Whether they made a mistake or whether it started off as a mistake and then they made another one or did somebody do something on purpose." Click here for more on our top story.
Other coronavirus developments:
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- Rubio warns China will face consequences 'diplomatically, economically and beyond' for coronavirus
- Coronavirus in the US: State-by-state breakdown
- Coronavirus: What you need to know
Biden finally set to break his silence on former aide's sex assault claim
Former Vice President Joe Biden is set to break his silence Friday morning after his former Senate staffer Tara Reade ignited a political firestorm last month by alleging he sexually assaulted her.
The presumptive 2020 Democratic presidential nominee will appear on MSNBC's “Morning Joe” and is expected to face questions about the accusations. Biden managed to avoid any questions from roughly a dozen televised interviews since Reade claimed March 25 that her former boss molested her in 1993.
Anchors including ABC News' George Stephanopoulos, NBC News' Chuck Todd and CNN's Anderson Cooper -- who interviewed the former vice president twice since Reade came forward -- failed to ask Biden about the claims. For weeks, only the Biden campaign has responded to the controversy to various media outlets, vehemently denying Reade's story.
"What is clear about this claim: It is untrue. This absolutely did not happen," Biden Deputy Campaign Manager Kate Bedingfield said. Click here for more.
Other related developments:
- Biden operatives accessed secret Senate records at University of Delaware before mid-March, report says
- Reade says Senate personnel complaint would prove Biden's former staff 'lied' to press
Michigan GOP prepares legal challenge after Whitmer extends state of emergency
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Thursday extended Michigan's state of emergency and disaster declaration through May 28, hours before it was set to expire and after hundreds of protesters, some of whom were armed, gathered in the state Capitol building to voice their displeasure with the Democratic governor.
Whitmer also took shots at the Republican-controlled legislature for refusing to extend the order earlier in the day. "By refusing to extend the emergency and disaster declaration, Republican lawmakers are putting their heads in the sand and putting more lives and livelihoods at risk," she said in a statement. "I’m not going to let that happen.”
The emergency declaration gives Whitmer additional powers to issue executive orders during an emergency. She claimed she had the emergency authority regardless of what state lawmakers did.
In a rejection of the governor, the state House and Senate adopted resolutions Thursday to legally challenge her authority and also approved a bill to allow some of her mandates but not her stay-at-home order, which expires May 16. Click here for more.
Other related developments:
- California county plans to defy Gov. Newsom, lift stay-home order
- California has list of outdoor activities still permissible during coronavirus, gets panned on social media
- N.Y., N.J. residents losing patience with governors' reluctance to give firm dates for reopening
America Together: Send us your photos and we'll tell your story as the nation battles coronavirus.
Trump attorney Sekulow claims FBI 'violated the Constitution' in Flynn case.
Nearly 900 workers at Tyson Foods plant in Indiana test positive for coronavirus
Fatal shooting of postal worker tied to delayed stimulus check, letter carriers group official says.
Hiker celebrating end of coronavirus lockdown falls to her death while posing for photo.
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#TheFlashback: CLICK HERE to find out what happened on "This Day in History."
SOME PARTING WORDS
Laura Ingraham says the coronavirus crisis has shown that experts advising our government officials don't like to admit when they're wrong.
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Fox News First is compiled by Fox News' Bryan Robinson. Thank you for making us your first choice in the morning! Stay healthy, stay safe, and try to keep your chin up - we will get through this coronavirus pandemic together. We'll see you in your inbox first thing Monday morning.