Biden asked U.S. intelligence agencies to report back within 90 days. He directed U.S. national laboratories to assist with the investigation and the intelligence community to prepare a list of specific queries for the Chinese government to find out whether the coronavirus was caused by a leak from a laboratory or human contact with infected animals.
“The United States will also keep working with like-minded partners around the world to press China to participate in a full, transparent, evidence-based international investigation and to provide access to all relevant data and evidence,” said Biden.
He called on China to cooperate with international probes into the origins of the pandemic.
Republicans, including former President Donald Trump, have promoted the theory that the virus emerged from a laboratory accident rather than naturally through human contact with an infected animal in Wuhan, China.
In March, a joint WHO-China study on the origins of Covid-19 said that the virus was transmitted from bats to humans through another animal. A lab leak scenario is “extremely unlikely.”
Scientists tracing the origins of the Covid-19 pandemic believe they’ve identified a possible transmission source: China’s thriving wildlife trade.