Biden orders report on Covid origins in 90 days

Biden orders report on Covid origins in 90 days

Biden orders report on Covid origins in 90 days

U.S. President Joe Biden announced on Wednesday that he has asked American intelligence agencies to "redouble" their efforts to analyse the origins of COVID-19, to determine whether it emerged from human-animal contact or via a laboratory accident.

Since infecting its first victims in the central Chinese city of Wuhan in late 2019, the pathogen has struck nearly every country in the world, killing more than 3.4 million people and eviscerating national economies. China asserts that the Covid-19 broke out in different places in the world and China only reported the virus first.

Biden said on Wednesday that US intelligence agencies were divided about whether Covid-19 "emerged from human contact with an infected animal or from a laboratory accident".

The Chinese Embassy in the United States on Wednesday also refuted the USA attempt to politicize the issue, saying the move gives free rein to the "political virus" and seriously hamper worldwide cooperation on the pandemic. ABC News has not independently confirmed that intelligence report. But his hunt for an answer looks like a long shot. Smear campaigns and blame shifting are making a comeback, and the conspiracy theory of a "lab leak" is resurfacing.

"This is worth investigating, but we're looking for an explanation to something that in the end may never be fully resolved", said William Schaffner, an epidemiologist at Vanderbilt University. "Most of us continue to believe that we're underestimating Mother Nature here", he said, noting that two previous coronavirus outbreaks this century were determined to have emerged naturally.

China wholly rejects the theory the virus may have emerged from a virology lab in Wuhan and has instead accused the USA of peddling conspiracies and politicizing the pandemic to divert attention from the high death rates there. The source of that early intelligence or how reliable US agencies rate it is not known. The origins of the Covid-19 remain a widely debated topic, with some scientists and politicians maintaining that the possibility of a lab leak of the deadly virus exists. He said on Wednesday that US intelligence agencies are pursuing rival theories potentially including the possibility of a laboratory accident in China.

White House Deputy Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre was asked at a news conference on Wednesday why the Biden administration thinks that China would cooperate. "We're going to go with the 90-day investigation and see where it takes us from there", she said.

World Health Organisation (WHO) is expected to restudy the "dominant theory" that the SARS-CoV-2 probably originated and spread across the world from China's Wuhan lab, according to reports.

Reviving the lab leak theory "is disrespectful to science. and also a disruption to the global fight against the pandemic", Mr Zhao said. "Every piece of evidence points to a leak from this laboratory", Pompeo said in a tweet this week. Bob Menendez, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told Bloomberg Television on Wednesday.

Introduced by Republican Sens.

"We need a completely transparent process from China; we need the World Health Organization to assist in that matter".

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.

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