Biden blasts China’s lack of transparency in response to report on COVID-19 origins

Security personnel stand guard outside the Wuhan Institute of Virology in Wuhan as members of the World Health Organization (WHO) team investigating the origins of the COVID-19 coronavirus make a visit to the institute in Wuhan in China's central Hubei province on February 3, 2021. | HECTOR RETAMAL/AFP via Getty Images

A U.S. intelligence report says its 90-day investigation ordered by President Joe Biden to look into the origins of the coronavirus pandemic, including whether the virus leaked from a Chinese lab, is “inconclusive” due to China’s unwillingness to cooperate.

China’s cooperation most likely would be needed to reach a conclusive assessment of the origins of COVID-19. Beijing, however, continues to hinder the global investigation, resist sharing information and blame other countries, including the United States," stated the 17-agency U.S. intelligence community’s report, released by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence on Friday.

It, therefore, remains inconclusive whether the virus, which has killed 4.6 million people worldwide, leaked from a laboratory in Wuhan, China, in 2019, or it was transmitted from an animal to a human, the report claims.

“All agencies assess that two hypotheses are plausible: natural exposure to an infected animal and laboratory-associated incident,” it said, adding that the virus “probably emerged and infected humans through an initial small-scale exposure that occurred no later than November 2019.”

Four intelligence agencies said with “low confidence” that the coronavirus was initially transmitted from an animal to a human. But a fifth intelligence agency believes with “moderate confidence” that the first human infection was linked to a lab, according to the report.

The report also said: “These actions reflect, in part, China’s government’s own uncertainty about where an investigation could lead as well as its frustration the international community is using the issue to exert political pressure on China.”

President Joe Biden released a statement on the report, saying: 

“Critical information about the origins of this pandemic exists in the People’s Republic of China, yet from the beginning, government officials in China have worked to prevent international investigators and members of the global public health community from accessing it,” he said. “To this day, the PRC continues to reject calls for transparency and withhold information, even as the toll of this pandemic continues to rise.”

Kash Patel, who worked at the U.S. National Security Council under former President Donald Trump and the Obama administration, previously said that Biden had “13, 14 months and more of intelligence that was gathered under his predecessor” that detailed where the U.S. intelligence agents believed the virus originated.

“There’s been Presidential Daily Briefings produced by career intelligence officials every week since this outbreak occurred and before that. It doesn’t take 90 days to look at it. It does take 90 days to look at it and allow people to possibly manipulate what they’re finding to suit a narrative that [Dr. Anthony] Fauci and others have been espousing for over a year,” Patel asserted in a June interview with The Epoch Times.

China responded to the U.S. intelligence report, alleging it “is not scientifically credible.”

Jim Geraghty, a senior political correspondent at National Review, previously wrote about a documentary film by YouTube creator Matthew Tye on the coronavirus outbreak, which suggests the virus accidentally escaped from the Wuhan Institute of Virology, a bio-weapons laboratory.

The Wuhan Institute of Virology in China posted a job opening in November 2019, “asking for scientists to come research the relationship between the coronavirus and bats,” Geraghty wrote.

The same institute posted a second job posting in December 2019. The translation of a part of that posting said “a large number of new bat and rodent new viruses have been discovered and identified,” the correspondent added.

“They talk about a certain kind of bat, but that bat wasn’t in that area,” Trump said at the time, according to The Washington Times. “But that bat wasn’t sold at that wet zone. It wasn’t sold there. That bat was 40 miles away. A lot of strange things are happening.”

Geraghty acknowledged that there’s no “definitive proof that COVID-19 originated from a bat at either the Wuhan Center for Disease Control & Prevention or the Wuhan Institute of Virology, as that would require “much broader access to information about what happened in those facilities in the time period before the epidemic in the city.”

However, he concluded that it is a “remarkable coincidence” that the Wuhan Institute of Virology was researching Ebola and SARS-associated coronaviruses in bats before the pandemic outbreak, and “that in the month when Wuhan doctors were treating the first patients of COVID-19,” the institute announced in a hiring notice that “a large number of new bat and rodent new viruses have been discovered and identified.”

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