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Biden presses China to cooperate in understanding COVID-19 origins: “I will not rest until I get them”

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US President Joe Biden said China "continues to reject calls for transparency and withhold information, even as the toll of this pandemic continues to rise"./AFP
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Aug 28, 2021 - 07:47 AM

LMBC HEALTH – United States President Joe Biden is not stopping in his push to determine the origins of COVID-19 after receiving the report of the intelligence community on their 90-day investigation.

“We will do everything we can to trace the roots of this outbreak that has caused so much pain and death around the world,” he said in a statement.

He slammed China for its failure to cooperate with the investigators, saying that since the start of the pandemic up to the present, the Asian country has not been transparent with the important information needed.

Taking the leadership in the World Health Organization, the president said that his administration and its allies across the globe are pinning down on the critical question.

“The world deserves answers, and I will not rest until we get them,” he stressed.

The president vowed that the U.S. will continue to pressure China to open its information to WHO as part of the Phase II evidence-based, expert-initiated determination into the origins of COVID-19.

“We will also continue to press the PRC to adhere to scientific norms and standards, including sharing information and data from the earliest days of the pandemic, protocols related to biosafety, and information from animal populations,” he said. “We must have a full and transparent accounting of this global tragedy. Nothing less is acceptable.”

Divided

After the thorough investigation ordered by the president, the intelligence community is still divided on its findings on COVID-19 origins, a report prepared by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence said.

A couple of hypotheses were formed by the unnamed agencies stating “natural exposure to an infected animal and a laboratory-associated incident.”

“We judge the virus was not developed as a biological weapon. Most agencies also assess with low confidence that SARS-CoV-2 probably was not genetically engineered; however, two agencies believe there was not sufficient evidence to make an assessment either way,” it said.

The report also stated that the intelligence community “assesses China’s officials did not have foreknowledge of the virus before the initial outbreak of COVID-19 emerged.”

Like Biden, the investigators also said that China’s cooperation is “most likely” required in order to form a conclusive assessment of the pandemic origins.

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