Former Deputy National Security Advisor Matthew Pottinger said that he believes it is possible to ascertain the origins of COVID-19 during a discussion of the Wuhan lab origin theory on Sunday.
“I think there’s a lot that can be learned in 90 days,” Pottinger told “Meet the Press” host Chuck ToddCharles (Chuck) David ToddColorado Democrat: Fear of Trump, desire for power ‘overriding’ patriotism in some Republicans Sunday shows – Infrastructure, Jan. 6 commission dominate Former deputy national security advisor: ‘I think we can’ find COVID-19’s origin MORE on NBC, referring to President BidenJoe BidenTexas Democrats stage walkout to block passage of sweeping election overhaul package DOJ adds four defendants to Oath Keepers conspiracy case Biden remembers late son Beau in Memorial Day remarks MORE’s recent call for a 90-day report on the origins of COVID-19 from the U.S. intelligence community.
“It’s conceivable that we’ll have an answer and even if we come up short with a definitive answer, what we’re gonna have is a foundation for additional revelations to come out from scientists around the world who are now going to be emboldened because they know that this is a priority of the United States,” Pottinger added.
Todd asked Pottinger if he believed a “definitive answer” about the origins of COVID-19 could be found even if the Chinese government is uncooperative.
“I think we can. It might take more than 90 days, but look, … China has incredible and ethical scientists, many of whom in the early stages of the pandemic came out to say that they suspected that this was a lab leak,” Pottinger said.
“So those people have been systematically silenced by their government,” he added, saying a U.S.-led global effort to find the origins of COVID-19 may embolden these scientists to come forward.
WATCH: @ChuckTodd: Can we ever actually get “a definitive answer” on Covid origins without China’s cooperation? #MTP
Fmr. Deputy National Security Adviser Matthew Pottinger: “I think we can. It might take more than 90 days.” pic.twitter.com/7BTNr6BSds
— Meet the Press (@MeetThePress) May 30, 2021
During the interview, Todd also asked whether criticism of China, from former President TrumpDonald TrumpBarbra Streisand: Republicans ‘want an authoritarian state’ DOJ adds four defendants to Oath Keepers conspiracy case J.D. Vance emerges as wild card in Ohio GOP Senate primary MORE, whom Pottinger served under, and others, slowed down inquiries into the origins of COVID-19.
“I think what slowed down efforts more than anything else, were the early statements that were published by a few scientists dismissing the idea that it could have come out of the lab and in fact caricaturing people who thought that it might have come out of the lab,” Pottinger said.
“I think that this is more of an institutional shortcoming where the intelligence community, in truth, it really had really looked to the [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] to have the lead and to be the lead agency to monitor for outbreaks and the like,” he added.