Has the Biden administration expressed support of the World Health Organization investigating the origins of COVID-19 in China?

The Wikipedia article on the WHO investigations only mentions the views of the previous Trump administration, and searching for information about the Biden administration and the WHO gave results about the Biden administration's decision to make the US rejoin the WHO.


1 Answer 1


Since Fauci is now part of the Biden administration... he reportedly said at a video conference on the 21st:

In one of his first assignments as part of the Biden administration, Anthony Fauci took part in a videoconference on Thursday with the World Health Organization (WHO), praising the agency’s work in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic and reaffirming the U.S.'s support — a significant shift in the U.S. government’s attitude toward the global health body. [...]

While the U.S.-WHO relationship appears stronger, Fauci also expressed support for the independent review into the WHO’s initial response to the pandemic, specifically how the coronavirus originated in China.

“The international investigation must be robust and clear, and we look forward to evaluating it,” Fauci stated.

There's actually a transcript with slightly more detail--Fauci seems to have been reading from a prepared statement:

Now, we realize that responding to COVID-19 and rebuilding global health and advancing health security around the world will not be easy. And in this regard, we are committed to transparency, including those events surrounding the early days of the pandemic. It is imperative that we learn and build upon important lessons about how future pandemic events can be averted. The international investigation must be robust and clear, and we look forward to evaluating it.

(There's now an official transcript on the HHS site.)

Also, the WHO mission on the ground in China for this purpose had already started, about a week before.

Additionally, on Jan 27, the WH Press Secretary Psaki was quoted/paraphrased as saying:

International investigation of the origin of #COIVD19 should be "robust and clear," says @PressSec. "We want to have science experts, policy experts on the ground" in #China.

Likewise she also condemned some misinformation on the matter coming out China.

Psaki voiced concern over "misinformation" from "some sources in China" and urged a "robust and clear" probe.

(Brief) video here, which seems to cut a bit abruptly.

The Guardian paraphrased a bit more, including that the US is going to (double)check the credibility of the WHO findings

Psaki said the new Biden government was devoting significant resources of its own to understanding what happened and would not take the WHO report for granted. Washington will “draw on information collected and analysed by our intelligence community” and also work with allies to evaluate the “credibility” of the international report.

I found the official transcript too

Q The last administration had suggested that — on the origins of the COVID-19 virus — that it may have originated in a lab in China. It was never definitive. Do you have an update on that — on the origin or where we are on an investigation?

MS. PSAKI: Well, first, obviously the misinformation, of course, that has — we’ve seen also come out of some sources in China is of great concern to us. It’s imperative that we get to the bottom of the early days of the pandemic in China, and we’ve been supportive of an international investigation that we feel should be robust and clear.

We — our view is that we must prepare to draw on information collected and analyzed by our intelligence community, which is something that is ongoing, and to work — and also to continue to work with our allies to evaluate the report’s credibility on the investigation once it’s done.

In addition, as you all know, the Secretary of State was just — Tony Blinken was just sworn in yesterday, and one of his priorities is, of course, ensuring that our staffing on the ground in Beijing — which is something that fell back in the last administration — is returned to what it was prior, which means we want to have science experts, policy experts on the ground in the roles that they should be serving in to ensure that, you know, we’re also there representing, you know, our interests from the United States, on the ground in China.

  • But is that the Biden administration's official position, or is it Fauci's own opinion?
    – jamesqf
    Jan 25, 2021 at 18:06
  • 3
    @jamesqf: given that the WH PressSec used the same "robust and clear" phrase, I'd say it was official and probably coordinated. Jan 29, 2021 at 8:15

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