President Joe Biden has tasked the intelligence community with intensifying its investigation into the origins of the coronavirus that caused a global pandemic. Biden said he expects the report on his desk within 90 days.
"I have now asked the Intelligence Community to redouble their efforts to collect and analyze information that could bring us closer to a definitive conclusion and to report back to me in 90 days," Biden said in a statement.
"As part of that report, I have asked for areas of further inquiry that may be required, including specific questions for China. I have also asked that this effort include work by our National Labs and other agencies of our government to augment the Intelligence Community's efforts. And I have asked the Intelligence Community to keep Congress fully apprised of its work."
In March, a joint team from the World Health Organization and China issued an inconclusive report that found it was "extremely unlikely" that the virus escaped from a lab in Wuhan, China. While the idea that the virus came from the Wuhan Institute of Virology was brushed off as a conspiracy theory, a recent report that three workers at the lab were hospitalized in November 2019 with COVID-like symptoms has caused many people to reexamine the origins of the virus.
"We need to get to the bottom of this, whatever the answer may be," White House senior COVID-19 advisor Andy Slavitt said. "We need a completely transparent process from China, we need the [World Health Organization] to assist in that matter, and we don't feel like we have that now."
Photo: Getty Images