Joe Biden pledged that his administration would “declassify as much information as possible about the origins and evolution of COVID-19 – including any possible links to a Chinese research laboratory.
After ordering intelligence agencies, including the FBI, to investigate the origin of the virus in 2021 and signing legislation requiring that any information be made public, the US president signed legislation.
He stated, “We must get to the root of COVID-19‘s origins in order to better prevent future pandemics.”
The bill was supported by Mr Biden, who stated that it would limit sharing of information that could “harm national security”. It passed both the Senate as well as the House of Representatives.
All relevant documents must be made public within 90 days after the bill was signed.
This comes just days after Christopher Wray, FBI director, revealed that the FBI believed the virus originated from a Chinese laboratory leak.
He stated that Beijing, which has repeatedly rejected this assessment, was doing its best to “thwart” and “obfuscate” international efforts to find out more about the pandemic’s origins.
According to the US Energy Department, they also believe that the pandemic was caused by an unintentional lab leak from China.
COVID-19 was first discovered in Wuhan in late 2019 and then declared a pandemic early 2020.
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Biden stated that his administration would continue to examine all classified information relating COVID-19’s origins and potential links to the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
According to a 2021 report, the World Health Organisation stated that the virus originated from Wuhan, but it was not entirely ruled out.
According to the experts, the most probable explanation is that the virus originated from a bat and crossed to an intermediary creature before jumping to humans.
Recent studies linked the virus to raccoons at a Wuhan market.