Published: Fri, May 28, 2021
Science | By

Biden renews COVID-19 origin probe that's so far come up empty

Biden renews COVID-19 origin probe that's so far come up empty

The company announced in February that it had expanded the types of claims it would remove from its platforms, including that the virus was man-made.

The Wall Street Journal reported Sunday that USA intelligence discovered three researchers at the Wuhan Institute of Virology were hospitalised in November 2019 with Covid-19 symptoms.

China has repeatedly denied the lab was responsible, saying the United States and other countries were trying to distract from their own failures to contain the virus.

"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.

At the height of the second wave of the pandemic in July 2020, a report in Independent Science News: A Proposed Origin for SARS-COV2 and the Covid-19 Pandemic by researchers Jonathan Latham and Allison Wilson suggested that SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes the coronavirus covid-19, may not have originated at a Wuhan market in 2019 as widely reported - but instead in 2012, in the same mineshaft in Tongguan where the six workers were exposed to bats.

Joseph A. Wulfsohn is a media reporter for Fox News. "And I have asked the Intelligence Community to keep Congress fully apprised of its work", Biden said in a statement.

The theories include whether the virus came from human contact with an infected animal or it leaked from a lab in Wuhan, China.

It was the only one of the four scenarios that the team did not recommend scientists investigate further. "Smear campaign and blame-shifting are making a comeback, and the conspiracy theory of "lab leak" is resurfacing", said the embassy in a statement.

But WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus responded that he didn't believe the team's assessment of the lab leak possibility was extensive enough.

"To politicize origin tracing, a matter of science, will not only make it hard to find the origin of the virus, but give free rein to the "political virus" and seriously hamper global cooperation on the pandemic", the spokesperson said. More than 168 million confirmed cases have since been confirmed worldwide and at least 3.5 million deaths reported. "The failure to get our inspectors on the ground in those early months will always hamper any investigation into the origin of COVID-19".

"I know there are a lot of theories out there, but we need to make sure we're getting to a full and complete airing of the facts to actually understand what happened and how to make sure it never happens again", he added.

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