State Department Says Biden and Senior Officials Have ‘Repeatedly’ Probed China on Origins of COVID

By Savannah Hulsey Pointer
Savannah Hulsey Pointer
Savannah Hulsey Pointer
Savannah Pointer is a politics reporter for The Epoch Times. She can be reached at
February 28, 2023Updated: February 28, 2023

The State Department said on Feb. 27 that President Joe Biden has repeatedly raised the need for Beijing to address the origins of COVID-19 with Chinese President Xi Jinping, following leaked reports that a lab leak in the Chinese city of Wuhan in 2019 is the most likely origin of the global pandemic.

According to State Department Spokesman Ned Price, the president and his top officials have pressed Beijing to disclose more information and allow international teams to conduct unhindered investigations into the origins of the virus.

“The President has raised this, the Secretary [of State] has raised this, the National Security Adviser has raised this, it’s been raised repeatedly and consistently at various levels because it is that important to us,” Price said. The spokesperson made his comments addressing the administration’s attempts to “impress upon the [People’s Republic of China] the importance of transparency.”

Price’s comments came on the heels of a The Wall Street Journal report the Energy Department, armed with “new intelligence,” now believes the virus originated in a laboratory disaster in China, joining the FBI in that judgment, while other agencies believe the pandemic was caused by natural transmission. According to the report, the Energy Department reached its judgment with “low confidence.”

White House national security advisor Jake Sullivan responded to the report, saying there is “no definite answer” to the matter during a Feb. 26 interview.

“Here’s what I can tell you. President Biden has directed, repeatedly, every element of our intelligence community to put effort and resources behind getting to the bottom of this question,” Sullivan said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

“If we gain any further insight or information, we will share it with Congress, and we will share it with the American people. But right now, there is not a definitive answer that has emerged from the intelligence community on this question,” the national security adviser said.

During his comments, Price went on to cite a “variety of views within the intelligence community” that have lent credibility to more than one theory of the virus’s origins—the virus spilled from a lab, specifically the Wuhan Institute of Virology, or was transmitted from animal to human. Price went on to say that several intelligence agencies had reached no conclusion.

“There are some elements within the intelligence community that have reached conclusions on one side. There are others that have reached conclusions on the other. There are a number of intelligence community agencies that have put forward an assessment that essentially makes clear they don’t have enough information to conclude one way or another,” he said.

The State Department referred The Epoch Times to Price’s statements to the press in response to a request for comment.