On March 20, the President of the United States, Joe Biden, announced that he would declassify some documents related to the origin of the Covid-19 epidemic, which today has left almost 676 million people infected and around 6.8 million deaths worldwide. the world. .
Biden’s decision was prompted by the enactment of the Transparency Act that has already passed the US Congress. “We need to get to the bottom of the origins of Covid-19,” Biden said in a statement, noting that this includes the link between the outbreak and a laboratory in the Chinese city of Wuhan.
He pledged that “in implementing this legislation, my department will declassify and share as much information as possible” without compromising “national security”.
Still, the law poses political risks for Biden, who has a strained relationship with Chinese leader Xi Jinping.
Beijing firmly rejects the possibility that a leak during an investigation at a laboratory in Wuhan triggered the global pandemic. But much of the US Congress wants to delve deeper into that theory, particularly Biden’s Republican opponents.
The Covid-19 outbreak began in 2019 in the city of Wuhan, in eastern China, and so far has caused nearly seven million deaths worldwide, according to official statistics, more than one million of them in the United States.
But health officials and US intelligence agencies remain divided on whether it was randomly transmitted to humans from an infected animal or was leaked during research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
FBI Director Christopher Wray said three weeks ago that the agency believed the COVID-19 pandemic was “probably” caused by an incident at the Wuhan lab.
Earlier, the Department of Energy determined that a leak from a Chinese laboratory was the most likely cause of the outbreak. However, other US agencies believe that the virus originated naturally in the world.
China’s secrecy over COVID-19
The way in which the Chinese government dealt with the epidemic was heavily criticized by the international community and even by the World Health Organization itself.
Since the first cases of COVID-19 were known, Chinese authorities have maintained a strict stance towards the outbreak and even cracked down on The first doctors who provided information about the first infections.
As soon as the new Corona virus began to spread globally, multilateral entities and governments of other countries asked China for answers about the origin of the Corona virus, and attention was focused mainly on the Institute of Virology in Wuhan, where experiments were carried out on bats and various types of the virus. Corona virus in the past.In early 2021, the World Health Organization sent a mission of independent investigators to Wuhan to gather evidence and determine the cause behind the first
cases of covid-19.
However, the visit was characterized by great tension, since the Chinese authorities permanently accompanied the investigators, which raised the suspicions of the international community.
The fact that former US President Donald Trump, during his administration, accused China of withholding information and even referred to the pandemic as the “Chinese virus”, did little to build confidence.
With Biden, this continued to be a critical point for relations between the two countries and with the announcement of the release of new classified information, tensions could increase again.