White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Tuesday that the World Health Organization’s (WHO) investigation on coronavirus does not get “to the bottom of what happened” and called for another “robust, international” probe into the pandemic’s origins in China.
“One of the concerns that we have expressed from here is a lack of data sharing,” Psaki responded when asked when there will be “traction” on the new assessment. “We have not seen the initial data or the base of data that the report has been based on, and we have concerns and questions about the process used to reach the final conclusions.” (RELATED: Biden Admin Pushes Back On World Health Organization’s China Investigation — But What Happens Next?)
“What we’ve been calling for and will continue to advocate for is an open, transparent international organization led by the world — I should say investigation — led by the World Health Organization,” she continued. “Certainly, getting to the bottom of what happened here, preventing it from happening in the future is a topic of conversation in a range of conversation the president has with Secretary of State, our National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan has, and I expect those will continue.”
Psaki stopped short of saying whether the President Joe Biden had made a determination on whether gain of function research facilities, like the Wuhan Institute of Virology, should be eligible to receive grants from the United States government. They currently are eligible, though the Trump administration paused all funding to those facilities as a retaliatory measure back in 2020.
“Again, we support a robust, international investigation,” Psaki stated. “We have also taken steps at the State Department to make sure we have full staffing in our Beijing Embassy to ensure we have eyes and ears on the ground. As you noted, there’s no funding anticipated or planned to go to that facility at this point in time.”
Biden’s national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, and two former top Trump administration officials — Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Deputy National Security Advisor Matthew Pottinger — have all expressed concerns regarding the WHO report in recent weeks.
Pompeo additionally stated on Fox News that nothing he has seen in recent months has changed his mind that the pandemic originated at the Wuhan Institute of Virology.