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US Prez Joe Biden orders intelligence agencies to report in next 3 months on ‘COVID 1st emerged in China’

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Washington: President Joe Biden has ordered US intelligence agencies to report to him in the next three months on whether the COVID-19 virus first emerged in China from an animal source or from a laboratory accident. In a statement released by the White House yesterday, Mr Biden said that agencies should redouble their efforts to collect and analyze information that could bring United States closer to a definitive conclusion and to report back to him in 90 days.

According to Mr Biden, agencies are currently split over the two possible sources for the virus that swept the planet over the past year, killing more than 3.4 million people, a figure experts say is undoubtedly an underestimate. President Biden’s order signals an escalation in mounting controversy over how the virus first emerged, through animal contact at a market in Wuhan, China or through release of the Corona virus from a highly secure research laboratory in the same city.

The answer has immense implications both for China, which says it is not responsible for the pandemic, and for US politics, where the lab theory has been used by Republicans to attack Beijing. As of today, the US intelligence community has coalesced around two likely scenarios, but has not reached a definitive conclusion on this question.

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