05/27/2021, 12.00
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Biden orders US Intelligence to uncover origin of Covid within 90 days

Doubts persist over the origin of the coronavirus in nature or in the laboratory. The Institute of Virology in Wuhan still under the spotlight. Virologist Anthony Fauci also asks to investigate the story. Beijing criticizes the move of the US president: political manipulation to target China.

Washington (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Joe Biden has ordered US intelligence agencies to investigate the origin of Covid-19 and to present the results within 90 days.

The US president asked for an in-depth analysis of the issue after secret service agents were unable to provide clear response on whether the coronavirus was transmitted from an animal to man or was produced in the laboratory: the latter is the hypothesis supported by the Trump administration, which claimed the virus was created in a Chinese laboratory, from where it then spread.

The lung disease emerged for the first time in late 2019 in Wuhan, the capital of the Chinese province of Hubei; so far it has infected more than 168 million people worldwide and killed about 3.5 million individuals.

The scientific community favours the thesis of the natural origin of the disease. A controversial investigation by the World Health Organization in collaboration with the Chinese authorities concluded that the hypothesis of the leak from the laboratory is "very unlikely". The investigation took place in China from January 14 to February 10 this year and raised criticism of the restrictions imposed by Beijing.

Recent US media reports have revived the laboratory theory. The Wall Street Journal claims to have viewed US intelligence documents according to which three doctors from the Wuhan Institute of Virology were hospitalized in November 2019, just weeks before the Covid emergency exploded.

Virologist Anthony Fauci, Biden's health adviser, continues to believe that the virus has passed from animal to man, but in recent days he has admitted that he is no longer sure of its natural origin.

Under pressure from Washington and its allies, WHO is considering a second mission to Chinese territory, which China is opposed to. In response to Biden's announcement, the Chinese embassy in the US said yesterday that politicizing the origin of Covid will hinder future investigations and weaken the fight against the pandemic: "Some forces are obsessed with political manipulation and the launching of accusations" Chinese diplomats wrote on their website.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry has relaunched inviting the WHO and the international community to investigate the experiments conducted in the US laboratory of Fort Detrick, and on cases of lung diseases that emerged in 2019 in Virgina and in Wisconsin.

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