China Still Withholding ‘Critical Information’ On Origins Of COVID-19, Says Joe Biden
Washington: US President Joe Biden said on Friday that China was withholding “critical information” on the origins of COVID-19. This followed after the US intelligence community said it did not believe the virus was a bioweapon — but remained undecided on whether it escaped from a laboratory.
However, the United States does not believe Chinese officials had foreknowledge of the virus before the initial outbreak of the pandemic. The COVID-19 pandemic has now claimed 4.5 million lives, an unclassified summary of an eagerly awaited intelligence report revealed.
“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 was quoted as saying in a statement by news agency AFP.
“To this day, the PRC continues to reject calls for transparency and withhold information, even as the toll of this pandemic continues to rise,” the President added.
It was however ruled out by the US intelligence that the coronavirus was developed as a weapon, and most agencies assess with “low confidence” it was not genetically engineered.