Biden orders U.S. intelligence services to investigate the origin of COVID-19
President Joe Biden ordered US intelligence officials to “double” their efforts to investigate the root cause of the COVID-19 pandemic, including any possibility that this clue might lead to a Chinese laboratory.
Over the past few months, the Biden administration has minimized this possibility to a marginal theory. After that, it is joining global pressure to demand that China be more open to the epidemic. The purpose is to prevent the Republican Party from complaining about the president not being firm enough and taking advantage of this opportunity. Proceed to urge China to be suspected of being blocked.
Biden asked US intelligence agencies to report within 90 days on Wednesday. He instructed the US National Laboratory to assist in the investigation, and the intelligence agency prepared a series of specific inquiry lists for the Chinese government. He called on China to cooperate with international investigations on the origin of the pandemic.
Republicans, including former President Donald Trump, advocated the theory that the virus was produced naturally by laboratory accidents rather than by human contact with infected animals in Wuhan, China.
Biden said in a statement that most of the intelligence community has “discussed” these two situations, but “does not believe that there is enough information to assess that one possibility is greater than the other.” He revealed, There are two institutions that prefer animal relations, and “one leans toward the laboratory” theory, and “each institution has medium or low confidence.”
Biden said: “The United States will continue to work with like-minded partners around the world to urge China to participate in a comprehensive, transparent, and evidence-based international investigation and provide access to all relevant data and evidence.”
He made this statement after several weeks of efforts by the government to prevent the public from discussing the theory of laboratory leaks.
Another sign of the change in attitude is that the Senate unanimously approved two amendments related to the Wuhan laboratory and attached them to a bill that is basically unrelated to the United States to increase US investment in innovation.
Watch | Biden calls for investigation into the origin of COVID-19:
An amendment proposed by Republican Senator Rand Paul would prevent the United States from funding China’s “enhancement” research to increase the severity or spread of the virus. Paul has been criticizing the government’s top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, and he has been severely questioned during a recent Senate hearing on China’s work.
Another amendment from Iowa Senator Jonny Ernst, also a Republican, will prevent any funding to the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
Both bills passed without a vote, which are part of a wider bill still being debated in the Senate.
Fauci believes that the virus occurs naturally
As for the origin of the pandemic, White House coronavirus adviser Fauci said on Wednesday that he and most others in the scientific community “believe that the most likely scenario is that this is a natural occurrence, but no one knows 100% of course.”
“And because there are a lot of concerns, a lot of speculation, and because no one absolutely knows this, I think we do need to conduct an open and transparent investigation and provide all available information for the review of the investigation.” Fauci said at the Senate hearing.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said on Tuesday that the White House supports the new WHO investigation in China, but she added that an effective investigation “will require China to finally step up its actions and allow it to determine its origins. “
Given the Chinese government’s refusal to fully cooperate with international investigations, Biden still believes that definitive conclusions may never be reached.
He said: “Failure to bring our inspectors to the scene in the first few months will always hinder any investigation of the origin of COVID-19.”
The Chinese Embassy in Washington did not mention Biden’s order, accusing unnamed political forces of concentrating on condemning the game, but ignoring the urgent need to fight the epidemic.
In a statement issued on Wednesday, the embassy said: “The smear campaign and the transfer of blame are making a comeback, and the conspiracy theory of “lab leaks” is reappearing.”
Government officials continue to have strong doubts about the laboratory leak theory. Instead, they believe that China’s refusal to cooperate-especially in such a large-scale cooperation-symbolizes other irresponsible actions on the world stage.
Government officials said privately that the final result, even if they knew it, would not change anything, but please note that China’s stone wall is now being shown to the world.
The State Department concluded an investigation into the theory of Chinese laboratories during the Trump era this spring, and said it would continue to cooperate with other government agencies and urged China to cooperate with the world.
Virologists say the study of the origin of the virus is crucial
Spokesperson Ned Price said: “China’s position on their completed role in the investigation is disappointing. This runs counter to all efforts made by the international community to eliminate the epidemic and improve global health security. “
Arinjay Banerjee, a virologist at Saskatoon Vaccines and Infectious Diseases, said research on the origin of the virus is crucial. Do you do it again? “
He said: “This virus is still likely to come from the wild animal and plant library.” He pointed out that when the virus spreads from animals to humans, spillover events are common in nature, and scientists already know two similar ?-coronaviruses. It will evolve in bats and cause epidemics when humans are infected (SARS1 and MERS). He said: “So far, there has been evidence that the virus comes from wildlife.”
However, the case has not yet been fully closed. Banagher said: “It is possible and it is possible.” “Since no one can identify a virus that is 100% identical to the SARS-CoV-2 virus in any animal, there is still room for researchers to ask about other possibilities.”