As of Wednesday, Biden said he had asked the U.S. intelligence agencies to intensify their efforts to identify the origin of the Coronavirus, reversing the previous White House position of looking to the World Health Organization to determine the source of the disease.
Some prominent scientists now believe that it is almost certain that the virus has moved from an animal to humans. According to the most recent theory, the pandemic – which has killed more than 3.4 million people worldwide – may have accidentally spread from the Wuhan Institute of Virology in China. However, the evidence is far from conclusive.
We may get closer to a definitive conclusion within 90 days after Biden ordered intelligence officials to prepare the report.
Republican leaders initially suggested that a pathogen transmission from humans to animals occurred at the Wuhan lab rather than naturally. One of them was former President Donald Trump, who frequently used vulgar language in describing the virus’s origins in China.
Many Democrats and scientists dismissed that idea, believing that the focus on the lab had led to an escalation of hate crimes against Asian Americans.
Since the White House was providing so much inaccurate information, many believed that this was just yet another attempt to divert attention from a fledgling response, noted Chris Meekins, a former Health and Human Services official now a financial advisor at Raymond James.
Researchers who have made this point in science have recently argued against using lab theory until more is known.
There were several examples in the fall of 2019 in which Wuhan lab workers suffered similar symptoms to those of Covid. This prompted the review.
There are tremendous implications for public health – and beyond – in the origins of the deadliest pandemic in modern memory. A global diplomatic firestorm could be sparked if investigators point the finger at China, one of the world’s most powerful and sensitive countries.
China has hindered the investigation, and it seems unlikely that a definitive finding will be reached despite Biden’s directive. However, Wednesday’s moves suggest he is growing increasingly concerned about China’s possible role.
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