During a press conference at the G7 conference in Cornwall, England on Sunday, Biden called on China to start acting “more responsibly in terms of international norms on human rights and transparency.”
The president then revealed that one of the concerns he and other leaders at G7 had raised was that “we haven’t had access to the laboratories to determine whether or not” COVID-19 was the result of bats in Chinese marketplaces “interfacing with animals and the environment,” or “an experiment gone awry in a laboratory.”
“I have not reached a conclusion because our intelligence community is not certain yet,” Biden said, adding, however, that it was “important to know the answer” so the international community could predict and prevent another pandemic from happening in the future.
“The world has to have access,” he argued, concluding that he and other leaders were trying to figure out a way to gain transparency.
Former president Donald Trump has repeatedly argued that COVID-19 came from a Wuhan laboratory, and told podcast host Dan Bongino last month that he had “very, very little doubt” the virus originated from the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
In a statement on Thursday, he demanded that China pay $10 trillion in “reparations” to the world for “what they allowed to happen.”
Trump’s claims, along with his insistence on calling COVID-19 “the Chinese virus” have led to allegations that “he is behind a recent rise in anti-Asian hate crime in the US”, however.
China has rejected claims that the virus escaped from a laboratory, with the Chinese Embassy in the US calling them “no different from the lies about Iraq possessing weapons of mass destruction 12 years ago.”