Facebook U-turns on removing posts claiming COVID is manmade


With this, Mr. Biden adds significantly to the growing pressure on China to be more open about the origins of the SARS-COV2 virus, an outbreak of which was seen first in early 2020 in the Chinese city of Wuhan, which houses the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV).

Facebook's reversal comes as United States President Joe Biden ordered U.S. intelligence officials to "redouble" their efforts to investigate the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic, including any possibility the trail might lead to a Chinese laboratory.

China on Wednesday accused the USA of "spreading conspiracy theories and disinformation" as the theory resurfaced that the coronavirus emerged from a Wuhan laboratory, while urging Washington to open its virology facilities to scrutiny. On May 14, a group of scientists, including from Harvard, Yale and Stanford, published a letter in the journal Science saying an accidental lab leak and "zootonic spillover" (i.e., from animals) remained "viable" theories. Each side had "low to moderate confidence", and the majority of the 17 organizations that make up the community believed there wasn't enough information to assess which scenario was more likely, Biden said. "The US Intelligence Community does not know exactly where, when, or how the Covid-19 virus was transmitted initially but has coalesced around two likely scenarios: either it emerged naturally from human contact with infected animals, or it was a laboratory accident", Assistant Director of National Intelligence for Strategic Communications Amanda Schoch said.

"There's nothing really new there to prove the hypothesis", he said. "In the investigation of the origins of the pandemic it is really important to have transparency in order to build trust in the investigation results".

He ordered intelligence agencies to "redouble their efforts" and report to him again in 90 days.

Alberta reports 908 new COVID-19 cases as hospitalizations remain steady
The top doctor for Alberta said the province's positivity rate is at 6.7 per cent after approximately 9,500 tests were completed. Another four deaths were reported to Alberta Health in the last 24 hours, bringing the total to 2,162.

Citing a US intelligence report, The Wall Street Journal reported Sunday that a trio from the Wuhan Institute of Virology were hospitalized with a seasonal illness in November 2019, a month before Beijing disclosed the existence of a mysterious pneumonia outbreak.

Mr Zhao also said the United States must open itself up to investigations into its biological laboratories, including at the military's Fort Detrick base.

The World Health Organization publicized a report following its investigation into a virus research institute in Wuhan, China, that described a leak from the institute as highly unlikely. "Let's start with a full investigation there and expand as necessary".

"Now everybody is agreeing that I was right when I very early on called Wuhan as the source of COVID-19", Mr. Trump said in a statement released on Tuesday.