Donald Trump says he’s more confident than ever that COVID leaked from a virus lab in Wuhan – and thinks people initially disagreed with his theory because they hated him.
The former President of the United States rang in to The Clay Travis and Buck Sexton Show on Tuesday to claim the now-credible theory was initially dismissed because he popularized it while in office.
Asked if he was as confident of his initial claim about the lab leak by Travis, Trump answered: ‘Probably more confident.
‘And I felt very confident last time, but I would say even more now in retrospect, because a lot of the phony things that they were saying … it came from a bat colony, a thousand miles away.
‘Much of that has really been disproven, and I would say more confident.
Donald Trump said he’s more confident than ever COVID-19 leaked from a Wuhan virus lab in a new interview with conservative radio hosts Clay Travis and Buck Sexton
‘Bat woman’ virologist Shi Zheng-li, left, is pictured at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, where COVID-19 is feared to have leaked from in late 2019
The institute, pictured, received US funding for its virus research. Trump’s leak claims were dismissed throughout 2020, but are now being taken far more seriously
‘When I said it came from the lab in Wuhan people went crazy. Now, it could be it’s probably that I said it… No matter what you do, they want to go against…
‘These people, I don’t believe they love our country, I’ll be honest with you. But with the lab … even if you were weren’t sure, why would they be so vociferous? As you remember, they went crazy when I said that. Now, they’re all saying that I was right.’
Trump first popularized the lab leak claim in summer 2020, when most in the scientific community – including White House COVID tsar Dr Anthony Fauci – were adamant that the virus had most likely jumped from an animal to a human being, possibly via a second intermediary animal.
The theory has gained traction in recent months, after The Wall Street Journal obtained US intelligence which showed three workers at the Wuhan Institute of Virology had checked into a local hospital with COVID symptoms in November 2019.
That was two months before China first reported the existence of COVID, with the virus lab one of only three facilities in the world performing experiments on bat coronaviruses – which COVID is widely believes to have originated from.
The other two laboratories are both located in the United States.
President Biden and Dr Fauci both now say they have an open mind towards the lab leak theory, with intensive US government analysis ongoing to try and discover the origins of the virus.
Scientists are also divided over whether COVID is a natural virus that was accidentally leaked, or if it had been genetically-modified to make it more contagious.
Meanwhile, Trump also joked with Travis and Sexton that if he’d urged people not to take anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine as a COVID treatment, they’d have done the opposite.
The former president said: ‘When I said that when it came from the lab in Wuhan people went crazy. Now it could be – it’s probably that I said it.
Trump shared his latest thoughts after ringing into The Clay Travis and Buck Sexton show. Travis is pictured left, with Sexton on the right
‘In other words, if I said hydroxychloroquine and people went crazy. If I would have said “Do not under any circumstances take hydroxychloroquine”
‘Uh probably they would have said “oh that’s terrible let’s take it”
‘You know it’s like one of those things so they like to go the opposite because they think it’s good politically. I don’t .’
Last year, Trump was blasted as touting hydroxychloroquine as a potential COVID treatment, and even took it himself to try and stave off the virus.
He was accused of spreading dangerous disinformation, but recent studies have shown that the drug taken in combination with zinc could increase COVID survival rates by up to 200 per cent in seriously-ill patients.
Trump also claimed that former NFL star Herschel Walker – pictured with the former president and his daughter Ivanka at the White House in 2018 – was planning a 2022 Senate run
Thursday’s interview also saw Trump claim former NFL star Herschel Walker was planning a 2022 Senate run in Georgia.
And he went on to alight on some of his favorite topics. He branded Joe Biden’s presidency ‘catastrophic,’ and said the ongoing border crisis was the worst in history.
Trump also warned that inflation – the cost of living ‘is a disaster’- and will ‘get very ugly,’ after both his administration and the Biden White House printed trillions of dollars in stimulus relief.
He trashed CNN as boring, and said he was glad the liberal network’s ratings had tanked since he left office.
Trump went on to hail his love of Fox News, and said he believed Tucker Carlson’s claim that the National Security Agency had been spying on his emails.
Carlson made the sensational claim on his show Monday night, with the NSA denying it on Tuesday.
The Fox News star went on the offensive later that evening, accusing the shadowy security agency of lying in its denial.