US President Joe Biden has ordered intelligence agencies to investigate the emergence of Covid-19 amid growing controversy over the origin of the virus.
In a statement, Mr Biden called on US intelligence groups to “double their efforts” and report to him within 90 days.
Covid-19 was first detected in Wuhan, China in late 2019.
Since then, more than 168 million cases have been identified worldwide and at least 3.5 million deaths have been reported.
Authorities associated early Covid cases with the Wuhan seafood market, and scientists believed the virus was first transmitted from animals to humans.
However, recent US media reports suggest that there is increasing evidence that the virus may have emerged from Chinese laboratories instead.
Beijing condemned the report, suggesting that it may have come from a US laboratory instead.
Lab Leak theory becomes mainstream
Passing through for the relative transparency of the U.S. government, the Biden administration has admitted that U.S. intelligence is divided into Covid-19 origins-in the laboratory or in human contact with animals. There could be-and no one is very sure about it.
This shows a major change from the ridicule that much of the media and politics put into lab theory last year when Donald Trump, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Senator Tom Cotton and others came up with ideas. ..
However, Mr. Trump and Mr. Pompeo were shy about the reasons for their allegations and did not help the situation. And their theory floats alongside the more distant ones, such as the disease being manufactured in a Chinese laboratory. That possibility seems very unlikely yet.
The public may never know the complete truth about the origin of the virus, especially if China remains uncooperative. But Biden has promised a full investigation, and if the United States finds conclusive evidence of Labreak, it will have to eat crows and reassess confidence in the prestigious “conclusion” of a few prominent figures. Means more than a person. It could put a very real burden on Sino-US relations over the years to come.
Why is President Biden doing this now?
To White House statement released WednesdayAfter taking office, President Biden said he sought a report on the origin of Covid-19, “including whether it resulted from human contact with infected animals or from a laboratory accident.”
He received this month and asked for “additional follow-up.”
“As of today, the US intelligence community has merged around two possible scenarios, but has not reached a definitive conclusion on this question,” Biden said.
“The current position is as follows.” Two elements of the IC are leaning towards the former scenario, one leaning towards the latter, each with low or moderate confidence, but the majority. The element does not think there is enough information to evaluate one. More likely than others. “”
The President is now requesting the agency to “double its efforts to collect and analyze information that could bring us closer to a definitive conclusion,” and will report to him within 90 days. He called on Congress to be “fully informed” of the job.
He said the United States would “work with like-minded partners around the world to participate in China’s complete and transparent evidence-based international research and provide access to all relevant data and evidence. Put pressure on it. “
Did Covid come from the lab?
In March of this year, the World Health Organization (WHO) published a report on the origin of Covid-19 in collaboration with Chinese scientists. It was “very unlikely” to start in the labWHO acknowledged the need for further research.
However, doubts remain, and three members of the Wuhan Institute of Virginology were hospitalized in November 2019, according to a recent report from US intelligence. This was a few weeks before China saw the first case of a new illness in the region.
President Biden’s chief medical adviser, Anthony Fauci, claims he believes the virus was transmitted from animals to humans, but admitted that he was not convinced that Covid-19 had occurred naturally this month. It was.
Biden’s statement comes the day after US Secretary of Health and Welfare Xavier Becerra urged WHO to ensure a “transparent” investigation into the origin of the virus.
“The Covid-19 pandemic not only stole a year from our lives, but also killed millions.” Mr. Besera said In a speech to the World Health Assembly, a conference hosted by WHO.
“Phase 2 of Covid Origins Research begins with a reference condition that is transparent, science-based, and gives international experts independence to fully assess the source and early stages of the virus. is needed.”
The alleged leak in the laboratory was widely dismissed as a fringe conspiracy theory last year after then-President Donald Trump stated that Covid-19 originated from the Wuhan Institute of Virginology. Many US media have stated that such claims have been exposed or false.
On Tuesday, Mr. Trump tried to get credit E-mail statement to the New York Post“It was obvious to me from the beginning, but as always I was badly criticized,” he said. “Now they all say,’He was right.'”