Biden orders inquiry into origins of COVID-19

Biden orders inquiry into origins of COVID-19

The first known cases of the novel coronavirus came from Wuhan, where there is a lab, the Wuhan Institute of Virology, that works with bat coronaviruses. Biden's order also reopens a rift with Beijing, which has impeded previous global investigations and punished foreign governments for suggesting it has something to hide.

Sen. Braun added, "President Biden must declassify all US intel related to the Wuhan lab and COVID-19 pandemic, so the American people and independent researchers can get answers".

The dominant theory is the virus passed from bats to humans through an intermediary animal.

The State Department confirmed that U.S. intelligence agencies are continuing to look into the matter closely even as the inquiry has been stopped.

The Republican report asserted that "significant circumstantial evidence raises serious concerns that the Covid-19 outbreak may have been a leak" from the institute, suggested the Wuhan lab was involved in biological weapons research, and that Beijing had attempted to "cover up" the virus' origins. "That's why we've advocated very strongly that World Health Organization needs to go back and try again after the first phase of their investigation really satisfied nobody".

China claimed the pressure started building up since Biden came to power.

The Chinese embassy in the United States on Wednesday said politicising the origins of the coronavirus would hamper further investigations. He also used the word "accident" to describe what may have happened at the Wuhan lab, an implicit rejection of unsubstantiated assertions that China may have intentionally set the virus loose.

The US had earlier called for a "transparent" phase 2 probe of the coronavirus origins study after a US newspaper reported that researchers at the Chinese virology laboratory in Wuhan had fallen ill back in 2019 almost a month before Chinese authorities reported the first coronavirus case to the WHO.

Facebook says it will no longer remove posts that claim the coronavirus was "man-made". Biden said he has called on intelligence officials to present a report on their findings within 90 days. The first official identification of the virus is dated only in December 2019. Although the origins of the virus remain unproven, the lab leak theory has been subject to fact-checking.

Facebook will no longer remove posts claiming the coronavirus is "man-made", it said Wednesday.

White House Deputy Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre was asked at a news conference on Wednesday why the Biden administration thinks that China would cooperate.

The natural origin hypothesis - backed as the most likely by the World Health Organization expert team who visited China - holds that the virus emerged in bats then passed to humans, likely via an intermediary species. This has reignited the debate around the lab-leak theory of Coronavirus. He also warned that uncertainty may persist, noting that the origin of the 2014 Ebola outbreak still isn't fully understood. "Every piece of evidence points to a leak from this laboratory", Pompeo said in a tweet this week.

Biden said, he received a report from the intelligence committee, wherein it showed that they were divided over the origins of the pandemic.

She added: "Getting to the bottom of the origin of this pandemic will help us understand how to prepare for the next pandemic and the next one".

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