The President has directed agencies and National Labs to work closely with the intelligence community on its 90-day deep dive, even as they continue to push for a more fulsome WHO investigation.The announcement comes after a US intelligence report found several researchers at China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology fell ill in November 2019 and had to be hospitalized.
A new detail that fueled fresh public pressure on Biden to delve deeper into the origin of the virus.President Joe Biden has directed the US intelligence community to redouble their efforts in investigating the origins of the Covid-19 pandemic and report back to him in 90 days.
Biden has directed his national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, to task the intelligence community with preparing a report on the most up-to-date analysis of the origins of the Covid-19 pandemic, including whether the virus emerged from human contact with an infected animal or from a laboratory accident.
Biden has received the report earlier this month and asked for additional follow-up.The U.S. Intelligence Community has ‘coalesced around two likely scenarios’ but has not reached a definitive conclusion on this question.
“Beijing’s continued obstruction of a transparent, comprehensive examination of the relevant facts and data about the source of the coronavirus can only delay the vital work necessary to help the world better prepare itself before the next potential pandemic.”
The bat coronavirus research in Wuhan was funded by the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) but the institute has denied supporting “gain of function” experiments that involve modifying a virus so that it becomes more transmissible to humans.The Donald Trump administration terminated the grant last year.
The three people from the Wuhan Institute of Virology were hospitalized with a seasonal illness in November 2019, a month before China disclosed the existence of a mysterious pneumonia outbreak.As per the natural origin hypothesis, the virus emerged in bats then passed to humans through an intermediary species.
However, scientists have not found a virus in either bats or another animal that matches the genetic signature of SARS-CoV-2.