Senator Angus King has warned that reopening states will be a “crapshoot” until there’s adequate Covid-19 testing. The independent also disputed suggestions the virus is manmade.
The Maine senator spoke to CNN’s New Day on Tuesday and said he’d seen no evidence that Coronavirus came from a lab.
CNN anchor John Berman asked King about recent assertions from President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo about the virus’ origins.
“I haven’t seen any recent intelligence on this in the last month or so,” King said.
“If the President and the Secretary of State have intelligence on this, then as a member of the Intelligence Committee, I want to see it. I’m entitled to see classified material,” King said.
Watch King’s comments on Coronavirus:
If the House Intelligence Committee can’t see the intelligence, “then that raises serious questions about the basis of those assertions,” Democratic Sen. Angus King says about President Trump’s claim that the coronavirus originated in a Chinese lab.https://t.co/upGmUEQu0z pic.twitter.com/oEPbLMFZpM
— New Day (@NewDay) May 5, 2020
“There are no limits on that kind of material being shared with the intelligence committees of the Congress.”
“So, it bothers me that for the President and the Secretary of State to assert, in such certainty — in fact, I think the President said ‘a high degree of certainty’ without at least sharing with the Intelligence Committee on a closed classified basis what the basis of that is.”
King discussed his own state’s efforts to tackle Covid-19. He criticized plans to reopen states while testing for the virus remained inadequate.
“The scandal here is the lack of testing,” King said.
“This whole opening up without adequate testing — which he don’t have now — is a crapshoot.”
“The governors are flying blind. If we had adequate testing and tracing, we could open up a lot more safely.”
Darragh Roche is a journalist covering U.S. politics and media