White House Won’t Say If US Review Of Lab Leak Theory Will Be Made Public

Washington Post

Anders Hagstrom White House Correspondent
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President Joe Biden’s administration may not publicize the findings of a 90-day review of the origins of COVID-19, with officials refusing to detail potential actions after the report is released Wednesday.

White House Principal Deputy Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre repeatedly declined to say whether the U.S. would impose consequences on China if the review concludes that COVID-19 leaked out of a research lab. Jean-Pierre emphasized, however, that the U.S. is dissatisfied with China’s lack of transparency and cooperation throughout the pandemic.

“If it turns out that COVID-19 originated from some sort of a lab accident in China…would the president seek to punish China?” Fox News Reporter Peter Doocy asked.

“We’re not gonna go there just yet. We have to go through the 90-day review,” Jean-Pierre said. “Once we have the 90-day review we’ll be able to reassess.”


Reporters pressed Jean-Pierre on the apparent turnaround from the White House on a U.S.-led investigation into the origins of the pandemic. Psaki had told reporters Tuesday that the Biden administration did not support a U.S.-led investigation, instead arguing that the World Health Organization (WHO) was the “appropriate body” for the inquiry.

“This is something that was ongoing. This is something that has been going on since March. The WHO doing their thing and the I.C. doing what they’re doing currently is not mutually exclusive. This is something that can happen at the same time,” Jean-Pierre replied. (RELATED: House Republicans: ‘Significant Circumstantial Evidence’ COVID-19 Originated From Wuhan Lab Leak)

Biden ordered the U.S. intelligence community to “redouble” their efforts to investigate the lab leak theory Wednesday morning.

“As of today, the U.S. Intelligence Community has ‘coalesced around two likely scenarios’ but has not reached a definitive conclusion on this question,” Biden wrote. “Here is their current position: ‘while two elements in the IC leans toward the former scenario and one leans more toward the latter – each with low or moderate confidence – the majority of elements do not believe there is sufficient information to assess one to be more likely than the other.’”

“I have now asked the Intelligence Community to redouble their efforts to collect and analyze information that could bring us closer to a definitive conclusion, and to report back to me in 90 days,” Biden continued in the written statement. “As part of that report, I have asked for areas of further inquiry that may be required, including specific questions for China. I have also asked that this effort include work by our National Labs and other agencies of our government to augment the Intelligence Community’s efforts. And I have asked the Intelligence Community to keep Congress fully apprised of its work.”