The White House said it isn’t ruling out the theory that China deliberately leaked the COVID-19 virus, White House deputy press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Wednesday.
Jean-Pierre was asked about the origins of COVID-19 during Wednesday’s press briefing after President Joe Biden issued a statement asking the intelligence community “to redouble their efforts” in coming to a “conclusion” on where the virus came from.
One reporter noted that the “language” used by Biden in his statement “specifically mentioned an accident.” He asked Jean-Pierre if the administration has “ruled out … that it was deliberate or not an accident.” The White House deputy press secretary declined to say this theory has been ruled out, instead noting that all options are still on the table.
“We haven’t ruled out anything yet,” Jean-Pierre replied. “Again, we’re gonna go through this re-doubling down of a 90-day review, and we’ll have more to share.”
Biden wrote in the press release that there are “two likely scenarios” regarding the origins of COVID-19: The virus “emerged from human contact with an infected animal or from a laboratory accident.”
“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 announced earlier Wednesday. “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.”
The renewed effort comes after much of the media decried and dismissed the lab leak theory — which former President Donald Trump often mentioned as a viable option into the virus’s origins — as a conspiracy theory throughout much of 2020. (RELATED: ‘Politics, Not Science’: Scientists Cast Doubt On China’s Story Of COVID-19)