President Joe Biden asks US intel community to investigate COVID-19 origin, presses China to cooperate

Associated PressUpdated: Wednesday, May 26, 2021, 11:16 PM IST
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American President Joe Biden | AFP

Washington: President Joe Biden on Wednesday asked the US intelligence community to "redouble" its efforts to investigates the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic. He said there is insufficient evidence to conclude "whether it emerged from human contact with an infected animal or from a laboratory accident." Biden, in a statement said the majority of the intelligence community "do not believe there is sufficient information to assess one to be more likely than the other." He directed US national laboratories to assist with the investigation and called on China to cooperate with international probes into the origins of the pandemic.

"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," he said.

He held out the possibility that a firm conclusion may never be known, given the Chinese government's refusal to fully cooperate with international investigations.

"The failure to get our inspectors on the ground in those early months will always hamper any investigation into the origin of COVID-19," he added.

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