Biden orders intelligence report on origins of Covid-19

Biden orders intelligence report on virus origin
President Biden asked intelligence agencies to report back to him within 90 days on the virus's origin. Source: EPA
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Daily US Times: President Joe Biden has ordered intelligence agencies to investigate the origins of Covid-19, amid growing controversy about the virus’s emergence.

In a statement, the US president asked US intelligence groups to “redouble their efforts” and report to him within 90 days.

Covid-19 was first detected in China in late 2019.

More than 168 million Covid-19 infections have since been confirmed worldwide and at least 3.5 million deaths reported.

Authorities linked early coronavirus cases to a seafood market in the Chinese city of Wuhan, and scientists believed the virus first passed to humans from animals.

But recent US media reports suggest growing evidence the disease could instead have emerged from a laboratory in China.

China has condemned the reports and suggested it could have come from a US laboratory instead.

On Wednesday in a White House statement, President Biden said he had asked for a report on the origins of Covid-19 after taking office, “including whether it emerged from human contact with an infected animal or from a laboratory accident”.

On receiving the report this month, he asked for “additional follow-up”.

Mr Biden said: “As of today, the US Intelligence Community has coalesced around two likely scenarios but has not reached a definitive conclusion on this question.”

The president has now asked the US intelligence agencies to “redouble their efforts to collect and analyse information that could bring us closer to a definitive conclusion”, and report to him within three months. He asked that Congress be kept “fully apprised” of the work.

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