President Joe Biden on Wednesday said that the U.S. Intelligence Community (IC) believes “two likely scenarios” caused the CCP virus outbreak in China, noting that a significant number of officials believe the virus escaped via a “laboratory accident.”
His White House-released statement comes in the midst of officials saying they do not believe the virus developed naturally—contradicting the official narrative of the Chinese Communist Party, which has said that the virus was spread via a wet market in Wuhan, Hebei Province, in late 2019. In recent days, a growing number of officials—including U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases chief Anthony Fauci, have suggested that the virus did not develop naturally.
“After I became President, in March, I had my National Security Advisor task the Intelligence Community to prepare a report on their most up-to-date analysis of the origins of COVID-19, including whether it emerged from human contact with an infected animal or from a laboratory accident,” Biden remarked, adding that he wants intelligence agents to “redouble” their efforts into finding the origins of the virus.
“As of today, the U.S. Intelligence Community has ‘coalesced around two likely scenarios’ but has not reached a definitive conclusion on this question,” the president said. “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.’”
Biden said that he wants the IC—the group of separate United States government intelligence agencies and subordinate organizations—to produce a report in 90 days.
Since the start of the pandemic, a number of Republican lawmakers as well as former President Donald Trump have suggested that the virus may have been developed or escaped from the Wuhan Institute of Virology, a top-security lab located just miles from the aforementioned wet market. A team of investigations led by the World Health Organization (WHO) attempted an investigation, but many have noted that CCP officials were present throughout WHO’s investigation, and critics have said the regime played a significant role in their investigation.
During the onset of the pandemic, meanwhile, the Chinese regime was accused of engaging in a coverup of the virus‘s origins and silenced whistleblower doctors, officials, and scientists who tried to speak out.
“There is overwhelming circumstantial evidence … to support a lab leak as the origination of COVID-19,” according to a May 19 report from Republicans, led by Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), the ranking House Intelligence member. “By contrast, little circumstantial evidence has emerged to support the PRC’s [People’s Republic of China] claim that COVID-19 was a natural occurrence, having jumped from some other species to humans.”
The former head of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Dr. Robert Redfield, a virologist, also told CNN earlier this year that the virus likely “escaped” from the lab, noting: “It’s not unusual for respiratory pathogens that are being worked on in a laboratory to infect a laboratory worker.”
The CCP has denied that the virus’s origin was linked to the lab and has frequently said that the virus was transmitted to humans from an animal host, although it’s not clear what animal had transmitted it.
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