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Report: State’s January release of critical Wuhan intel met fierce internal resistance

Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo
FPI / June 2, 2021

A Trump administration investigation into the origin of Covid-19 that had reported on the high probability that the virus had originated at China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology was shut down by China-friendly operatives in the Biden administration over fears of upsetting the communist regime in Beijing, a report said.

“The department denied a report that it had ended the scientific probe, but people familiar with the matter said that the entire team that was conducting the investigation during the Trump administration were reassigned to other bureaus not related to the virus origin controversy when the Biden administration took office,” security correspondent Bill Gertz reported for The Washington Times on May 26.

The State Department, under the direction of then-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, tasked the arms control, verification and compliance directorate, known as AVC, with the investigation. The AVC in January released the first details on what intelligence officials believe was probably a laboratory leak of the virus from the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

The intelligence was made public in a State Department fact sheet in January that revealed reports that workers at the Wuhan lab had been sickened with Covid-like symptoms in November 2019 — a month before the first case was made public.

Pompeo criticized the new administration for the derailing the investigation.

Joe Biden, Pompeo said in a tweet, “sides with China, WHO and the liberal media on Wuhan virus — joining the ‘nothing to see here crowd’ by shutting down State Dept. pandemic origin investigation I commenced.”

“This isn’t political. America must lead on this,” Pompeo added.

Before the intelligence was released by Pompeo’s team, Chris Ford, acting undersecretary of state for arms control and international security, tried to block AVC from releasing the information publicly over concerns doing so would “open a can of worms” and upset U.S.-China relations, Gertz’s report noted.

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