Facebook has lifted the ban on posting about a probable Wuhan lab origin of COVID-19 after the Biden administration has asked U.S. intelligent agencies to investigate the matter in three months. The Wall Street Journal was the first to report that three workers from the Wuhan Institute of Virology had been hospitalized in November 2019 with symptoms that were consistent with a coronavirus infection, much before the virus had spread in China and later throughout the world.
On Wednesday, in a blog post, Facebook said that in light of the ongoing investigations into the origin of COVID-19 and in consultation with public health experts, they will no longer removed the claim that COVID-19 is manmade or manufactured, from their apps.
The social media network also said that they were continuing to work with health experts to keep pace with the evolving nature of the pandemic and that they were regularly updating their policies as new facts and trends were emerging.
In April 2020, Facebook said that it would limit harmful misinformation about the virus on its platform. In February 2021, it had expanded its ban to include claims of COVID-19 being a manmade virus. However, after President Biden announced told federal intelligence agencies to “redouble their efforts” in finding the original source of the virus, Facebook lifted its ban.
The Daily Mail had contacted Facebook and is waiting for a response.
The recent reports from the WSJ were picked up by other news agencies as well and the renewed efforts by the feds are responsible for a new reexamination of the origins as well as the possibility of release of less information by China, which the country has vehemently denied.
The US is also working with allies around the world to force China to participate in an open, transparent, and evidence-based probe. Biden has asked China to provide access to all relevant data and evidence. A World Health Organization (WHO) team had gone to China to study the origins of the virus but were given limited access and could not reach a firm conclusion on its origins.
At a Senate hearing Dr. Anthony Fauci said that there’s a lot of concern, a lot of speculation and since no one absolutely knows that he believes that there is a need for an investigation where there would be “open transparency and all the information that is available” should be “made available” for scrutiny.
On Tuesday, Andy Slavitt, a senior adviser for the coronavirus in the Biden administration, said that they needed a transparency process from China, and they needed the WHO to assist in the matter. He also said, “We don’t feel like we have that now.”
According to a report received by the Washington Post on Tuesday, the WHO head, the U.S. government and thirteen other countries have complained about the lack of access given by China, in an unusual public rebuke. However, there are also beliefs by these leaders that nothing much could be done against China’s stonewalling efforts, especially in the beginning of the pandemic, when world health experts had absolutely no access to what was happening in Wuhan or China.