Beijing: China shines in the “dark history” of the US intelligence community on Thursday, after US President Joe Biden ordered the disclosure of the origin of Covid-19, because laboratory leaks rebounded and tightened relations between the two countries.
President Biden on Wednesday ordered US intelligence agencies to report to him within the next three months whether the Covid-19 virus first appeared in animal sources or in a laboratory accident in China.
The lab-leak theory, initially dismissed as “highly unlikely” by a delayed World Health Organization mission to China, has resurfaced in recent days, driven by Washington.
China wholly rejects the theory the virus may have emerged from a virology lab in Wuhan and has instead accused the US of peddling conspiracies and politicising the pandemic to divert attention from the high death rates there.
Rejecting the need for a new investigation into the pandemic, a ministry of foreign affairs spokesman on Thursday said the Biden administration’s “motive and purposes are clear”.
“The dark history of the US intelligence community has long been known to the world,” Zhao Lijian added, referring to the US’ unfounded allegations of weapons of mass destruction which justified its invasion of Iraq.
According to Biden, intelligence agencies are currently categorizing the two possible sources of the virus that has swept the planet in the past year, killing more than 3.4 million people-experts say this number is undoubtedly an underestimate.
Biden’s order marks the escalation of controversy over how the virus first appeared-through contact with animals in a market in Wuhan, China, or the release of the coronavirus from a highly secure research laboratory in the same city.
This idea is gaining more and more attention in the United States. It was initially supported by Trump and his aides, and was regarded as a political untold by many people at the time.
The Wall Street Journal cited US intelligence reports on Sunday, reporting that three people from the Wuhan Institute of Virology were hospitalized for seasonal illness in November 2019, one month before Beijing revealed a mysterious outbreak of pneumonia.
The WHO expert team is most likely to visit China, based on the natural origin hypothesis, that the virus appeared in bats, and then it is likely to be transmitted to humans through intermediate species.
This theory was widely accepted at the beginning of the pandemic, but with the passage of time, scientists have not found a virus that matches the genetic characteristics of SARS-CoV-2 in bats or another animal.