BREAKING: U.S. launches full-scale probe into whether coronavirus escaped from Chinese lab

The virus responsible for killing thousands around the world and shuttering economies may have been created in a Chinese laboratory and accidentally released, according to a new report.

Fox News reported Friday that U.S. intelligence agencies are currently analyzing information suggesting that the coronavirus (COVID-19) was created in China’s only known Level 4 biolab in Wuhan city as part of ongoing experimentation, not as a biological weapon.

The network reported:

Intelligence operatives are said to be gathering information about the laboratory and the initial outbreak of the virus. Intelligence analysts are piecing together a timeline of what the government knew and “creating an accurate picture of what happened,” the sources said.

Once that investigation is complete — something that is expected to happen in the near-term — the findings will be presented to the Trump administration. At that point White House policymakers and President Trump will use the findings to determine how to hold the country accountable for the pandemic.

Previously, the network reported that the origins of the coronavirus not only came from the Wuhan lab, but that the experimentation there is part of an overall effort to ‘prove’ to the world that China is as capable as the United States in identifying and combatting viruses.

In any event, U.S. officials and the Intelligence Community told Fox News they have ruled out any suspicion that the virus was created as a biological weapon because of its structure. Sources told the network that the virus’ genome mapping make it clear that it was not genetically altered.

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“The sources believe the initial transmission of the virus was a naturally occurring strain that was being studied there — and then went into the population in Wuhan,” Fox News reported.

Part of the U.S. investigation is a focus on open source and classified data which has led investigators to work in the lab of Dr. Shi Zhengli, who was attempting to develop antivirals and immunizations against coronaviruses, working with bats, in particular.

Not only did China create COVID-19 in a lab, say U.S. officials, but the Communist government went to all lengths in order to cover up the mistake. That included a cover story claiming that the virus originated from a wet market in Wuhan city.

Sources also told Fox News that it looks increasingly likely that the World Health Organization (WHO) was active in assisting China with the cover-up or simply looking the other way, which helps explain why the president paused the organization’s funding this week.

On Wednesday, President Trump hinted at an ongoing investigation into the origins of the virus, telling Fox News’ John Roberts, “More and more we’re hearing the story…we are doing a very thorough examination of this horrible situation.”

On Friday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo stated unequivocally the U.S. government is looking into whether the virus may have escaped from the Wuhan Institute of Virology. And he accused Beijing’s ChiComs of stonewalling scientists who are trying to learn the truth.

VOTE NOW: Should Trump punish China for lying about Coronavirus cases?

“We know that the first sightings of this occurred within miles of the Wuhan Institute of Virology.  We know that this – the history of the facility, the first BSL-4 lab where there’s high-end virus research being conducted, took place at that site,” Pompeo said on the Hugh Hewitt Show. “We know that the Chinese Communist Party, when it began to evaluate what to do inside of Wuhan, considered whether the WIV was, in fact, the place where this came from.

“And most importantly, we know they’ve not permitted the world’s scientists to go into that laboratory to evaluate what took place there, what’s happening there, what’s happening there even as we speak,” he added.

The fact that the administration is now looking into this means that Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) is owed a huge apology from the disgustingly dishonest Washington press corp, nearly all of whom called him a crazy conspiracy theorist for mentioning this possible connection in February.

Notice: This article may contain commentary that reflects the author's opinion.