'We need to get to the bottom of Covid-19's origins..., including potential links to the Wuhan Institute of Virology,' Biden said in a statement US President Joe Biden on Monday signed into law a bill requiring the release of intelligence materials on potential links between the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic and a laboratory in the Chinese city of Wuhan. "We need to get to the bottom of Covid-19's origins..., including potential links to the Wuhan Institute of Virology," Biden said in a statement. "In implementing this legislation, my administration will declassify and share as much of that information as possible," he added.
"I share the Congress's goal of releasing as much information as possible about the origin" of Covid, he said. Biden said that in 2021, after taking office, he had "directed the Intelligence Community to use every tool at its disposal to investigate." That work is "ongoing," but as much as possible will be released without causing "harm to national security," he said. The bill posed political risks for Biden, who is negotiating a difficult relationship with Chinese leader Xi Jinping.
Beijing vehemently rejects the possibility that a leak during research at the Wuhan lab could have unleashed the global pandemic. However, much of Congress wants to pursue the theory further, and the issue has become a rallying point in particular for Biden's Republican opponents. Congress passed and sent the bill to Biden in March.