US President Biden Orders Reopening Investigation of Coronavirus Origins
President Joe Biden ordered U.S. intelligence officials to “redouble” their efforts to investigate the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic, including any possibility the trail might lead to a Chinese laboratory.
After months of minimizing that possibility as a fringe theory, the Biden administration is joining worldwide pressure for China to be more open about the outbreak, aiming to head off GOP complaints the president has not been tough enough as well as to use the opportunity to press China on alleged obstruction.
Dr. Fauci, a White House coronavirus adviser, said Wednesday that he and most others in the scientific community “believe that the most likely scenario is that this was a natural occurrence, but no one knows that 100% for sure.”
Biden asked U.S. intelligence agencies to report back within 90 days, and he told reporters on Thursday that he aimed to release their results publicly.
The Democrat directed U.S. national laboratories to assist with the investigation and the intelligence community to prepare a list of specific queries for the Chinese government. He called on China to cooperate with international probes into the origins of the pandemic.
His statement came after weeks of the administration endeavoring to avoid public discussion of the lab leak theory and privately suggesting it was farfetched.
China on Thursday accused Biden’s administration of now playing politics and shirking its responsibility in calling for a renewed investigation into the origins of the coronavirus pandemic, which was first detected in China in late 2019. Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said Biden’s order showed the U.S. “does not care about facts and truth, nor is it interested in serious scientific origin tracing.”
The State Department, which ended one Trump-era probe into the Chinese lab theory this spring, said it was continuing to cooperate with other government agencies and pressed China to cooperate with the investigation. /www.wdbj7
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