(WASHINGTON, D.C.) — With researchers across the globe trying to accurately pinpoint the origin of the COVID-19 pandemic, President Joe Biden ordered Wednesday for U.S. intelligence agencies to “redouble their efforts” in pinpointing how the virus passed onto humans.
In addition, the president wants U.S. agencies to ask “specific questions for China.”
President Biden noted a report researching if the pandemic was cased by human contact with an infected animal or from a lab incident in China provided inconclusive results. Because of that, he has ordered a second report to be completed in 90 days to “bring us closer to a definitive conclusion.”
In a public statement, the president said, “As of today, the U.S. Intelligence Community has ‘coalesced around two likely scenarios’ but has not reached a definitive conclusion on this question.”
“Here is their current position: ‘while two elements in the IC 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,” he added.
The theory that the virus was created in the the Wuhan Institute of Virology and somehow escaped is a popular theory among Republicans, as it was pressed by former President Donald Trump and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
President Biden’s order joins the growing global dissatisfaction with how the World Health Organization and China are conducting research to identify the virus’ origin.
COVID-19 adviser Andy Slavitt said of the renewed push, “”We need to get to the bottom of this, and we need a completely transparent process from China. We need the WHO to assist in that matter. We don’t feel like we have that now.”
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.