US President Joe Biden has stated that China is withholding critical information in regards to the origins of Covid-19.
This comes after the US intelligence community expressed disbelief in the idea that the virus was a bioweapon but remained divided on the idea of it escaping from a lab.
An unclassified summary from an intelligence report revealed that the US does not believe that Chinese officials possessed any foreknowledge of the virus before the outbreak.
In relation to the origins of the virus, Biden stated, “Critical information about the origins of this pandemic exists in the People’s Republic of China, yet from the beginning, government officials in China have worked to prevent international investigators and members of the global public health community from accessing it,”.
“To this day, the PRC continues to reject calls for transparency and withhold information, even as the toll of this pandemic continues to rise.”
Officials have ruled out the possibility of the virus being developed as a bioweapon but the intelligence community has been divided by the possible origins of the virus.
Four agencies and the National Intelligence Council were in favour of the virus originating from natural exposure to an animal, while one agency favoured the lab leak theory. Three agencies have still been unable to reach a conclusion.
Biden stated that he will continue to work with allies to place pressure on China to share more information about the origins of Covid-19 and cooperate with the World Health Organisation.
“We must have a full and transparent accounting of this global tragedy. Nothing less is acceptable,”.