The Biden administration is still open to the idea that the coronavirus escaped from the infamous Wuhan Institute of Virology, according to a new report.
What is the Biden administration saying?
The office of the Director of National Intelligence told NBC News that the agency, now led by Biden appointee Avril Haines, stands by a statement released by the office last April.
That statement said:
As we do in all crises, the Community's experts respond by surging resources and producing critical intelligence on issues vital to U.S. national security. The IC will continue to rigorously examine emerging information and intelligence to determine whether the outbreak began through contact with infected animals or if it was the result of an accident at a laboratory in Wuhan.
In fact, a "western intelligence official" told NBC News the U.S. government "has substantial intelligence" proving the Chinese government attempted to cover up the virus and "obscure" the origins of the pandemic.
The classified material, which NBC News said was corroborated by a U.S. official, is significant enough that officials have been unable to rule out an accident having happened at the Wuhan lab, resulting in an accidental release of the COVID virus.
What is the background?
As TheBlaze reported, investigators with the World Health Organization claimed last week that it is "extremely unlikely" COVID-19 came from the Wuhan bio laboratory.
Those investigators reached their conclusion after investigating for less than one month.
"The findings suggest that the laboratory incidents hypothesis is extremely unlikely to explain the introduction of the virus to the human population," Peter Ben Embarek, an expert with the WHO food safety and animal diseases division, said, the Associated Press reported.
Shockingly, the WHO reversed course just days later when WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said "all hypotheses remain open."
"The expert team is still working on its final report and we look forward to receiving both the report and a full briefing," he said. "Some questions have been raised as to whether some hypotheses have been discarded. I want to clarify that all hypotheses remain open and require further study."
Still, despite President Joe Biden restoring U.S. funding of the WHO when he entered office, the Biden administration voiced distrust with the international body last week, citing the investigation into the origins of COVID-19.
In fact, Biden's national security advisor, Jake Sullivan, expressed "deep concerns" with the credibility of the WHO.
"We have deep concerns about the way in which the early findings of the COVID-19 investigation were communicated and questions about the process used to reach them," Sullivan said.
"It is imperative that this report be independent, with expert findings free from intervention or alteration by the Chinese government," he added.