The US Declassifies Information on the Origin of CovidHealth | March 21, 2023, Tuesday // 08:35| views
US President Joe Biden has signed a bill requiring the declassification of intelligence materials on potential links between the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic and a laboratory in the Chinese city of Wuhan, AFP reported.
"We need to get to the bottom of the origins of Covid-19... including potential links to the Wuhan Institute of Virology," Biden said in a statement.
"In implementing this legislation, my administration will declassify and share as much of this information as possible," he added.
"I share the goal of Congress to disclose as much information as possible about the origin of Covid", he said.
Biden said that in 2021, after taking office, he "directed the intelligence community to use all available investigative tools."
That work "continues," but as much information as possible will be released without causing "national security harm," he said.
Beijing strongly rejects the possibility that a leak during research at the Wuhan laboratory triggered the global pandemic.
Still, much of Congress wants to continue developing the theory, and the issue has become a sticking point, especially for Biden's Republican opponents.
Congress passed and sent the bill to Biden in March.
The epidemic began in 2019 in the eastern Chinese city of Wuhan and has so far caused almost seven million deaths worldwide, with more than one million in the United States, according to official figures.
But health officials and the US intelligence community remain divided over whether it spread to humans accidentally from an infected animal or leaked during research conducted at the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
The US Department of Energy - one of the US agencies investigating the disaster - concluded with "low confidence" that the virus probably came from a laboratory, agreeing with the FBI's assessment but contradicting the conclusions of several other agencies.
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