China admits it destroyed early coronavirus samples but says it did so for 'safety'

China has admitted that it destroyed early samples of the novel coronavirus, but said it did so for safety reasons. The acknowledgment by a Chinese official is a response to comments made earlier this week by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

A Chinese official publicly stated that the destruction of early samples was for "biosafety" and not part of a cover-up of the coronavirus outbreak.

"Based on comprehensive research and expert opinion, we decided to temporarily manage the pathogen causing the pneumonia as Class II — highly pathogenic — and imposed biosafety requirements on sample collection, transport, and experimental activities, as well as destroying the samples," China's National Health Commission's Liu Dengfeng told reporters, according to the South China Morning Post. Continue reading full story here.

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