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White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki declared Monday that evidence pointing to a Chinese lab leak causing the coronavirus pandemic does not constitute “enough data and information to jump to a conclusion,” and indicated that the US will not conduct its own investigation.
When Psaki was asked by Fox News reporter Peter Doocy if the White House will throw its weight behind a US led investigation into the origin of the outbreak, she responded “I think you’re misunderstanding how this process actually works.”
“With 589,920 dead Americans at what point does President Biden say we don’t want to wait for the WHO effort, we don’t know what they’re doing, this needs to be an American-led effort to get to the bottom of what happened?” Doocy had asked.
“We need access to the underlying data and information in order to have that investigation,” Psaki added, indicating that it will not happen.
“What we can’t do, and what I would caution anyone doing, is leaping ahead of an actual international process,” Psaki also said, while refusing to comment on the release of a previously undisclosed intelligence report highlighting that three researchers from China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology were hospitalized in November 2019 with coronavirus symptoms.
“[W]e’re hopeful that WHO can move into a more transparent, independent phase two investigation,” Psaki added, indicating that the Biden administration is still putting confidence in the global health body, despite its documented repeated failings.
“We have repeatedly called for the WHO to support an expert-driven evaluation of the pandemic’s origins that is free from interference or politicization,” Psaki continued.
“We don’t have enough information to draw a conclusion about the origins,” Psaki claimed, adding “We need data. We need an independent investigation. And that’s exactly what we’ve been calling for.”
Doocy intercede, asking “So is there any amount of casualties from COVID in this country that would make you not want to wait for an international effort?”
Psaki responded “I think the family members of the loved ones whose lives have been lost and deserve accurate information, data, not the jumping to a conclusion without having the information necessary to conclude what the origins are.”
As we previously highlighted, after spending months trying to negotiate a visit, WHO officials largely absolved China of blame for the COVID-19 pandemic after visiting a virus lab in Wuhan for just 3 hours.
WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus warned Monday that it is an “evolutionary certainty” that an even worse pandemic is coming in the future.
“Make no mistake, this will not be the last time the world faces the threat of pandemic,” Tedros said, adding “there will be another virus with the potential to be more transmittable and more deadly than this one.”
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