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Biden orders probe into virus origins

Biden orders probe into virus origins”

On May 14, a group of scientists, including from Harvard, Yale and Stanford, published a letter in the journal Science saying an accidental lab leak and "zootonic spillover" (i.e., from animals) remained "viable" theories.

Biden's order signals an escalation in mounting controversy over how the virus first emerged - through animal contact at a market in Wuhan, China, or through release of the coronavirus from a highly secure research laboratory in the same city.

"The IC continues to examine all available evidence, consider different perspectives, and aggressively collect and analyze new information to identify the virus's origins", Schoch said, a day after President Joe Biden ordered the intelligence agencies to "redouble" their efforts in investigating the emergence of the deadly Covid-19 pandemic and report back to him in 90 days. He also used the word "accident" to describe what may have happened at the Wuhan lab, an implicit rejection of unsubstantiated assertions that China may have intentionally set the virus loose.

Mr. Biden said he had reviewed a report on the origins of the virus, authored by his National Security Adviser (Jake Sullivan) and intelligence officials and that the intelligence community had "coalesced around two likely scenarios", yet not reached a "definitive conclusion" as to the origins of the virus. He also made clear the United States will urge China to disclose more information on the matter.

"There's nothing really new there to prove the hypothesis", he said.

Mr Biden told USA intelligence officials to redouble their efforts to investigate the origins of the pandemic, including any possibility the trail might lead to a Chinese laboratory.

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The WHO report's annex contains multiple data points providing an intriguing insight into China's evolving knowledge of the virus and the likely timing of its emergence. ABC News has not independently confirmed that intelligence report.

A World Health Organisation (WHO) investigation concluded, earlier this year, that the lab leak theory was "extremely unlikely".

The Chinese embassy said 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".

Calls to investigate the origins of the coronavirus, especially the lab-leak theory, have grown.

Amid the latest developments, America's top general accused China of a "cover-up".General Mark Milley, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said: "Once this virus started appearing there seems to have been a fair amount of activity or cover-up or lack of transparency, probably the best way to put it, and all of that is disturbing".

Huang of CFR said further investigations into the origins of Covid-19 were at an "impasse".

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