President Joe Biden is ordering a deeper investigation into the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic, including whether the coronavirus pandemic was the product of a Chinese lab accident, the White House announced on Wednesday, amid growing questions about its origins.
“The failure to get our inspectors on the ground in those early months will always hamper any investigation into the origin of COVID-19,” Biden said in a statement.
Biden said he received an initial analysis earlier this month but is directing the intelligence community to dive deeper and report back to him in 90 days.
“As of today, the U.S. Intelligence Community has ‘coalesced around two likely scenarios’ but has not reached a definitive conclusion on this question,” Biden said.
The current two leading theories are that the virus it emerged from human contact with an infected animal or from a laboratory accident, he said.
CNN reported Wednesday, citing anonymous sources, that the Biden administration had shut down an investigation led by former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo trying to prove the theory of a lab accident because of concerns over the quality of the investigation and its motivation.
Biden said Wednesday that he had tasked the intelligence community in March to prepare a report on the most up-to-date analysis of the origins of COVID-19.
He said he has received that initial report and asked for more information.
“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,” he said. “As part of that report, I have asked for areas of further inquiry that may be required, including specific questions for China.”
This is a breaking news story and will be updated.