Biden Wants to Know Whether the Coronavirus Came from A Chinese Laboratory or Not
US President Joe Biden has instructed his intelligence services to report on the origin of the coronavirus within 90 days.
The official version that the virus has spread to humans at an animal market in Wuhan has been challenged for some time, and China is not very open about it.
US intelligence services are divided on the issue, according to a White House statement. President Biden now wants more clarity, and a more comprehensive report should be on his desk in 90 days. To be clear, Biden has not yet commented on the rather thorny issue that could further sour the already tense relationship with China.
Let’s go back in time: the virus emerged in the Chinese city of Wuhan at the end of 2019. Officially it would have passed from animal to human at an animal market in Wuhan, but that is not entirely certain. The fact that there is also a large virus research centre in the same city has led many to suspect that the virus has escaped from that laboratory, possibly due to inadequate security.
Former President Donald Trump and several of his associates pointed to the possibility, and it has even been suggested in some quarters that the virus was developed or modified by China in the context of biological warfare. Until recently, such suspicions lingered in the cloud of conspiracy theories in hot demand on the Internet, but in recent weeks and months, it has become apparent that the Washington secret services are increasingly taking it seriously.
The Chinese embassy in the US immediately reacted grudgingly to Biden’s investigation. Beijing warns the US that “politicizing the virus will seriously undermine international cooperation against the pandemic.”
China feels targeted but is partly to blame for it. The investigation into the origin of the coronavirus does not escape the general lack of openness of the very closed communist regime that initially denied the seriousness of the epidemic.
It took more than a year before experts from the World Health Organization (WHO) in Wuhan could research the origin of the virus – and still very limited – has raised doubts about the official version. The WHO concluded that it is “improbable that the virus originated in a laboratory”, but that more research is needed. The top American doctor Anthony Fauci is no longer so convinced that the virus has naturally passed from animals to humans.