The Joe Biden administration has stopped officials from carrying out an inquiry into a link between the origins of the novel coronavirus and a lab in Wuhan.
According to the reports, President Joe Biden has shut down a clandestine investigation that the US State Department had started to prove the lab-based origins of Covid-19.
During Trump’s presidency, the US State Department had launched the previously undisclosed inquiry to look into the allegations of laboratory origin of Covid-19 in China. However, Biden’s administration has reportedly asked the officials to stop the investigation citing “poor quality work and its politicization, selective use by Trump and his allies to blame the pandemic on China.”
Mike Pompeo, Trump’s secretary of state, had initiated a probe to look into the possibility that the coronavirus pandemic may have started in the Wuhan Institute of Virology and not in nature. However, after Biden took over the administration, his team raised concerns as early as 2021 about draft findings of the probe against China.
Pompeo had repeatedly said that he believed the coronavirus causing the global pandemic has originated in a lab and that the Chinese government was covering up. In April last year, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had accused China of destroying coronavirus samples as part of a cover-up during the early days of the outbreak, thereby “making it impossible to track the disease’s evolution.”
“I am confident that we will find that the evidence that we have seen to date is consistent with a lab leak, and I’m convinced that’s what we’ll see,” Pompeo said.
The possibility that the pandemic began due to a laboratory accident has gained renewed interest recently after a Wall Street Journal report claimed that three workers at the Wuhan lab were hospitalized in November 2019, even before the first cases of Covid-19 were reported.
Biden orders reviews on Covid-lab leak theory
Meanwhile, US President Joe Biden has ordered his own investigation to look into the lab-leak theory of Covid-19. President Joe Biden has asked US spy agencies to do a 90-day investigation into whether Covid-19 was released by a Chinese lab. The White House said that it is not ruling out anything, including the deliberate release of the virus by China.
The Biden administration said that US intelligence agencies are considering two likely scenarios, however, they still lack strong confidence in their conclusions. A report has been submitted to Biden, who had asked his team in March to determine whether the novel coronavirus “emerged from human contact with an infected animal or from a laboratory accident,” according to the president’s written statement.
The latest unusual public disclosure about private and inconclusive US intelligence assessments has now sparked a debate about the Biden’s administration’s probe over the origins of novel coronavirus.
Responding to several US investigations into the possible lab leak of Covid-19, the Chinese embassy in the United States on Thursday said that politicizing the issue would hamper investigations into the origins of Covid-19.
The Chinese Embassy in the US said that it supports “a comprehensive study of all early cases of Covid-19 found worldwide and a thorough investigation into some secretive bases and biological laboratories all over the world”.
The Wuhan pandemic has killed more than 3.3 million people worldwide and hit the global economy due to the lockdowns and other restrictions to slow its spread. Even though the origin of the virus remains contested among experts, much evidence suggests that the virus may have been originated from Wuhan. The first known cases emerged in the central Chinese city of Wuhan in December 2019.