In its final days, President Donald Trump’s State Department made a series of highly controversial claims about the Wuhan Institute of Virology in Wuhan, China, and its possible connection to the Covid-19 outbreak. Now, the Biden administration has reviewed those claims, and is confirming some of the facts within them — but not, a senior State Department official has told me, the Trump team’s theory of how the pandemic broke out. These facts suggest that more investigation is needed into the lab’s possible connection to the outbreak.
The controversy surrounds a Jan. 15 statement put out by then-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that was accompanied by a “Fact Sheet” entitled: “Activity at the Wuhan Institute of Virology.” That fact sheet alleged that the U.S. government had evidence that “several researchers inside the WIV became sick in autumn 2019 . . . with symptoms consistent with both COVID-19 and common seasonal illnesses.”