President Biden on Tuesday ordered US spy agencies to do a 90-day investigation into whether COVID-19 was released by a Chinese lab — with the White House saying it isn’t ruling out anything, including deliberate release of the virus.
Biden made the abrupt pivot after his administration insisted for weeks that it would defer to the World Health Organization for answers on how the pandemic started.
Biden said in a statement that two theories predominate current US official thinking. Those theories are that the virus emerged naturally from animals or escaped from a lab in Wuhan, China.
“As of today, the U.S. Intelligence Community has ‘coalesced around two likely scenarios’ but has not reached a definitive conclusion on this question,” Biden said.
“Here is their current position: ‘while two elements in the [intelligence community] leans toward the former scenario and one leans more toward the latter – each with low or moderate confidence – the majority of elements do not believe there is sufficient information to assess one to be more likely than the other.’”
Biden released the statement after his chief medical adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci was grilled Wednesday by senators about whether the WHO is beholden to China. A preliminary WHO study controlled by China this year concluded the virus likely emerged naturally.
CNN reported on Tuesday that the Biden administration closed down a probe into whether COVID-19 originated at the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
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SOURCE: New York Post, Steven Nelson