A three-month investigation by the US intelligence community has failed to determine the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic, President Joe Biden said Friday, lashing out at China for blocking access to critical information.
“Critical information about the origins of this pandemic exists in the People’s Republic of China, yet from the beginning, government officials in China have worked to prevent international investigators and members of the global public health community from accessing it,” Biden said in a statement.
Biden’s statement came shortly after the Director of National Intelligence made similar claims.
Various US intelligence sources said Friday that China’s refusal to work with the international community was hindering studies into the origins of the pandemic.
Nevertheless, Biden said the US would continue to work to the trace the roots of the coronavirus “so that we can take every necessary precaution to prevent it from happening again.”
“To this day, the PRC continues to reject calls for transparency and withhold information, even as the toll of this pandemic continue to rise. We needed this information rapidly, from the PRC, while the pandemic was still new,” Biden said.
Biden said the world deserved answers and vowed not to rest “until we get them.”
The US president also said Washington would continue to press China to share information and data from the earliest days of the coronavirus outbreak. “We must have a full and transparent accounting of this global tragedy. Nothing less is acceptable.”
The Associated Press cited four intelligence community members as concluding that the virus transmitted from an animal to a human, while a fifth intelligence agency said the first human infection was linked to a lab.
It has been widely reported and believed that the initial virus originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan.