President Biden announced that he had urged the U.S. intelligence community to work toward a “definitive conclusion” on how the pandemic began. Biden stated in a statement that the intelligence community has “coalesced around two possible scenarios”: the coronavirus came from either human contact with an infected animal or a laboratory accident in Wuhan, China.
Most intelligence institutions, he said, don’t believe there’s enough information to conclude the virus’s origins and the three intelligence groups that do have “low to moderate confidence” in their conclusions.
He stated that he wants intelligence personnel to identify “areas of future investigation,” especially from China and that the U.S. will continue to press China to allow data access. The first instances of the new coronavirus were reported in Wuhan at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, where a lab was dedicated to bat coronaviruses.
The idea that the virus had escaped from the lab — that there had been a mistake and then someone became ill — surfaced early in the pandemic, but most scientists discounted it as exceedingly dubious. However, some experts and far-right journalists jumped on board, and the notion gained traction, particularly among conservative news outlets and Republicans.