President Biden said the United States will urge China to participate in a “comprehensive and transparent” investigation into the origin of the coronavirus.
U.S. President Joe Biden has instructed U.S. spy agencies to review classified information about the origin of the coronavirus, including whether it comes from human-animal contact or from a research laboratory in China.
In a statement issued on Wednesday, Biden said that the US intelligence community had “discussed around two possible scenarios,” but had not yet reached a clear conclusion on the origin of the coronavirus.
It also does not have high confidence in the current conclusions, and it is still possible to disagree on which one.
As a result, Biden said that he has asked U.S. intelligence agencies to “redouble their efforts to collect and analyze information that can bring us closer to a certain conclusion” and report to him within 90 days.
The President of the United States said: “As part of the report, I request areas that may require further investigation, including specific issues against China.”
World Health Organization Learn The report released at the end of March concluded that the virus is most likely to be transmitted from bats to humans through another animal, and laboratory leaks are “very unlikely.”
However, there are still doubts about the level of interviews obtained by WHO investigators during the fact-finding in Wuhan, China, and the previous reports of the disease by researchers from the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
A group of 14 countries attract attention Regarding the WHO report, the reasons were delays and lack of adequate data access rights, and the head of the WHO also called for further investigation of the theory, arguing that the outbreak was the result of laboratory leaks. China strongly opposes this accusation.
At the same time, U.S. intelligence agencies have been reviewing reports on: Researcher of Wuhan Virology Laboratory I was seriously ill in 2019, one month before the first COVID-19 was reported.
But US government sources warned earlier this week that there is still no evidence that the disease is caused by the laboratory.
A source familiar with U.S. intelligence reports and analysis told Reuters that a still classified U.S. intelligence report circulated during the administration of former President Donald Trump stated that three Wuhan Institute of Virus Research researchers They fell ill in November 2019, so much so that they sought hospital care.
An unnamed source told Reuters that it is not clear whether the researchers were hospitalized or what their symptoms were.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said on Monday that these reports were “completely untrue.”
At the same time, Biden said on Wednesday: “The United States will continue to cooperate with like-minded partners around the world, urging China to participate in a comprehensive, transparent, and evidence-based international investigation and provide access to all relevant data and evidence.”
White House Deputy Press Secretary Karin Jean-Pierre said that the President’s instructions should not be interpreted as the United States’ rejection of WHO’s research, but aimed at providing the best US information and resources for solving current problems.
“WHO is doing its own thing, [intelligence community] Doing what they are currently doing is not mutually exclusive,” Jean-Pierre said.
She told reporters at the White House: “This may happen at the same time.”