Biden tells intelligence agencies to step up probe of COVID-19’s origins, including theory of Wuhan lab leak
WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden said Wednesday he has asked the intelligence community to report within 90 days the likely origins of COVID-19.
As questions grow about whether the virus was the result of an accident in a Chinese laboratory or spread through other means, Biden said in a statement he wants the community, which has been divided over the issue, to “redouble” their investigative efforts.
As of today, the U.S. Intelligence Community has “coalesced around two likely scenarios,” according to Biden’s statement.
While two elements of the community leans toward the likelihood that the virus emerged from human contact with an infected animal, one leans towards the possibility of a laboratory accident. Their assessments are made “with low or moderate confidence.” and the majority of members of the intelligence community “do not believe there is sufficient information to assess one to be more likely than the other.”
“I have now asked the Intelligence Community to redouble their efforts to collect and analyze information that could bring us closer to a definitive conclusion, and to report back to me in 90 days,” Biden said.
Biden’s directive comes a day after Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra told the World Health Organization that international experts must able to independently assess the source of the virus.