On Wednesday, the President of the United States Joe Biden ordered American intelligence officials to increase their efforts to investigate the origins of the coronavirus pandemic, including any probability the search might lead to a Chinese laboratory. After several months of diminishing that possibility as a fringe theory, the Biden government is joining global pressure for China to be more open about the pandemic, aiming to prevent Republicans’ complaints Biden has not been tough enough to pressurize China on suspected obstruction.
Shortly after taking office, I instructed our Intelligence Agencies to investigate the origins of the COVID-19 virus. Today, I’ve asked the Intelligence Community to redouble those efforts and send me a report in 90 days.
— President Biden (@POTUS) May 26, 2021
Two Most Probable Theories of Coronavirus Origin
American president asked the federal agencies to report back within ninety days. Biden also ordered the national laborites to assist with the investigation and the intelligence agencies to organize a list of specific queries for the Chinese administration. Likewise, he called on China to cooperate with international investigations into the origins of the COVID-19 outbreak. Republican leaders, including former U.S. President Donald Trump, promoted the theory that the virus emerged from a laboratory accident instead of a human contact with an infected animal in Wuhan, China.
On the other hand, Biden stated that most intelligence communities had united around those two scenarios but didn’t believe there is sufficient information to evaluate one to be more possible than the other. The Democratic president elevated that two investigative agencies lean toward the animal link and one leans more toward the lab theory, each with moderate or low confidence.
Biden said that America would also keep working with compatible partners worldwide to pressure China to participate in a transparent, full, and evidence-based international investigation and provide access to all related evidence and data. The statement of the American president came after weeks of the government trying to avoid public debate of the accidental lab leak theory and privately suggested it was unbelievable.
American Senate Approved Two Senate Wuhan Lab-related Amendments
In another effort of shifting the public attitudes, the United States Senate approved two Wuhan lab-related amendments without the support of the opposition, attaching them to a mainly unrelated bill to grow American investments in innovation. One of the Senate amendments, from Senator Rand Paul, would block American backing of Chinese gain of function research on enhancing the transmissibility or severity of coronavirus.
Paul criticized Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top infectious disease expert of the government, and aggressively asked him during a recent Senate hearing over the progress in China. The other amendment was from Republican Senator Joni Ernst of Iowa, and it would stop any funding to the Wuhan Institute of Virology. Both amendments approved without calling out votes as part of the comprehensive bill that is still under debate in the Senate.
Most of the Scientists Believe the Natural Occurrence of the Virus
The White House COVID-19 adviser, Fauci, said about the origin of the outbreak that he and most of the other experts in the scientific community believe that the possible scenario is that this was a natural occurrence, but no one knows that hundred percent for sure.
Fauci said at a Senate hearing that there is a lot of speculation, a lot of concern, and since no one categorically knows that, he believes the scientific community does need the kind of investigation where there is open transparency and all the available statistics to be made available to examine.
On Tuesday, Jen Psaki, the White House Press Secretary, said that the White House supports a new investigation of the World Health Organization (WHO) in China, but she added that an effective investigation would require the Chinese government finally to accelerate the probe and allowing access required to find out the origins.
The U.S. President still held out the likelihood that a final result may never be reached, given the refusal of China’s government to cooperate with international probes completely. Moreover, the Chinese consulate in Washington, without mentioning the president’s order, accused anonymous political forces of being obsessed with a blame game while overlooking the urgent requirement to combat the coronavirus.
Biden’s senior adviser for the COVID-19, Andy Slavitt, said on Tuesday that the world needs to get to the bottom. Slavitt noted that the U.S. needs a completely transparent process from China and needs the World Health Organization to assist in that issue.