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Biden Shut Down Effort to Prove COVID Started in Lab
From the story: President Joe Biden’s team shut down a closely-held State Department effort launched late in the Trump administration to prove the coronavirus originated in a Chinese lab over concerns about the quality of its work, according to three sources familiar with the decision. The existence of the State Department inquiry and its termination this spring by the Biden administration — neither of which has been previously reported — comes to light amid renewed interest in whether the virus could have leaked out of a Wuhan lab with links to the Chinese military. The Biden administration is also facing scrutiny of its own efforts to determine if the Chinese government was responsible for the virus (CNN). From Tom Cotton: The Biden administration *shut down* the work to identify the origins of COVID. If “quality of the evidence” was the problem, why hasn’t the Biden Team launched their own investigation? (Twitter).
Biden team shut down State Dept. inquiry probing possible lab link to COVID: report
By Mark Lungariello, NY Post, May 25, 2021:
The Biden administration ended an inquiry into a possible connection between the origins of the novel coronavirus and a lab in Wuhan, a CNN report published Tuesday claims.
The State Department launched the previously-undisclosed inquiry last fall under President Trump – but the effort was shut down this spring because of “concerns about the quality of its work,” CNN reported, citing three unnamed sources.
Allies of Mike Pompeo, Trump’s Secretary of State, were looking into the possibility that the coronavirus pandemic may have started in Wuhan Institute of Virology and not in nature, CNN reported.
But after the changeover in administrations, concerns were raised early in 2021 about draft findings of the probe shared with Biden’s team, CNN said.
The State Department confirmed to CNN that the inquiry had stopped but said it is continuing to work with other agencies on “COVID origins issues.”
The report indicated those close with former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo wanted to see if COVID-19 originated at the Wuhan Institute of Virology.The report indicated those close with former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo wanted to see if COVID-19 originated at the Wuhan Institute of Virology.Joe Raedle/Getty Images
Pompeo, now a Fox News contributor, told the network this week he believed the virus originated in a lab and that the China’s government was covering up.
“I am confident that we will find that the evidence that we have seen to date is consistent with a lab leak and I’m convinced that’s what we’ll see,” he said.
“If I am wrong, I hope the Chinese Communist Party will come forward and make a fool of me.”
The possibility that the pandemic started because of a laboratory accident has gained renewed interest after a Wall Street Journal report that said three workers at the Wuhan lab were hospitalized in November 2019 prior to the first reported cases of COVID-19.
Their symptoms were consistent with the virus but may have been other illnesses, according to analyses.
Dr. Anthony Fauci has also said he isn’t convinced COVID-19 developed naturally.
“I think we should continue to investigate what went on in China until we continue to find out to the best of our ability what happened,” said Fauci, Biden’s chief medical adviser.
The State Department’s inquiry grew “contentious” last year as some questioned whether the investigation was part of a Trump administration effort to blame China for the outbreak, CNN said, citing sources.
CNN quoted one former State Department official as calling the work “suspicious as hell” and saying those leading the probe cut out technical experts.
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