White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre did not answer a question posed by Daily Caller White House correspondent Diana Glebova on President Joe Biden’s meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping.
Glebova asked whether Biden discussed the lab lead theory during his Monday meeting with Xi as the press secretary exited the briefing Friday afternoon. It is currently unknown whether the two world leaders address COVID-19 likely leaking from gain-of-function research experiments at the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
“Did the president speak about COVID-19 with President Xi?” Glebova asked.
The administration has repeatedly ignored reporters’ questions on whether the topic was discussed during the meeting. The president heard but chose not to answer a reporter’s question on addressing the origins of COVID-19 after Marine One landed on the South Lawn early Thursday, New York Post reporter Steven Nelson said in an email obtained by the Daily Caller.
State Department spokesperson Vedant Patel did not directly answer Daily Caller Chief Foreign Affairs correspondent Dylan Housman’s question on the matter at Tuesday’s briefing. Instead, Patel said “health security” and “global health” are essential matters to be addressed by countries around the globe. (RELATED: Biden Meets With China’s Xi Amid Heightened Tensions)
“What I can say and what is no secret is that between the United States and the PRC [People’s Republic of China] exist a number of challenges not just for our two countries, but countries around the world, that addressing these challenges transnationally together is a better result for both of our people but the world broadly,” Patel told Housman. “And that of course includes climate change, that includes global health, that includes health security, it includes global economic stability. But I don’t have anything other specific to add.”
“Of course global health security is on the agenda and on the radar and of course as a planet we are as prepped for the future public health crisis that may transpire,” Patel answered.
The previously discredited lab leak theory suspects that COVID-19 originated in gain-of-function research experiments conducted in the Wuhan lab and vastly spread on a global scale after leaking outside of the building’s realm.