U.S. officials reportedly have a stash of data they have yet to examine that might shed new light on the true origin of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Intelligence officials reportedly told President Joe Biden advanced computer analysis would be needed to sort through the unexamined data, and that prompted him to declare that his administration would undertake a 90-day investigation into the question of the pandemic’s origin, according to The New York Times.
While the exact nature of the trove of evidence is unknown, it could consist of Chinese communications, information on the movement of Wuhan lab workers and the pattern of the initial Wuhan outbreak, The NYT reports.
Breaking News: President Biden’s call for a 90-day sprint to understand the origins of the coronavirus came after the White House was told of still-unexamined evidence that might shed light on the mystery, officials said. https://t.co/kozQ5WGO5D
— The New York Times (@nytimes) May 28, 2021
Officials reportedly doubt that much information can be gleaned from internal Chinese communications, which are notoriously hard to get ahold of. The White House wants international allies to contribute more intelligence gathering to try to get to the bottom of what was happening at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, according to The NYT. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Republicans Demand Answers From Secretary Of State Over Reports Biden Called Off Investigation Into COVID-19 Origins)
The new push to determine how much legitimacy lies in the lab-leak theory is primarily motivated by a desire to be better prepared for future pandemics, officials reportedly said. Biden is reportedly still leaving open the door to future cooperation on the issue with China, despite the Chinese Communist Party ruling out any cooperation with further World Health Organization investigations this week.
Biden called for an expedited U.S. inquiry on the lab-leak theory in the same week that White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said that WHO scientists, not American experts, would lead further investigations into the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
Biden said Thursday he expects the results of this new inquiry to be made public later this year. (RELATED: ‘Every Theory Should Be Explored’: Psaki Won’t Say Whether Biden Believes COVID-19 Lab Leak Theory)
New information has come to light in recent days as the lab-leak theory found new popularity in corporate media circles. The Wall Street Journal reported Sunday that U.S. intelligence revealed three Wuhan Institute of Virology scientists became sick in late 2019 with COVID-19 symptoms. Tuesday, CNN reported the Biden administration nixed a Trump-era investigation into a possible lab origin for the virus.