Facebook ends ban on posts Covid was man-made after Biden orders origins report

Facebook, left, announced it will stop removing posts stating Covid-19 was man-made after President Joe Biden, bottom right, redoubled efforts to find the virus origins and whether it came from a Wuhan lab, top right (Pictures: Getty Images/Reuters/AP)

Facebook announced it will no longer remove posts claiming that the coronavirus was man-made, after President Joe Biden stepped up the administration’s efforts to investigate the origins of the virus.

The social media giant lifted the ban on Wednesday shortly after Biden released a statement indicating that he ordered a report from the US intelligence community in 90 days.

A Facebook spokesperson then said in an emailed statement: ‘In light of ongoing investigations into the origin of Covid-19 and in consultation with public health experts, we will no longer remove the claim that Covid-19 is man-made from our apps.

‘We’re continuing to work with health experts to keep pace with the evolving nature of the pandemic and regularly update our policies as new facts and trends emerge,’ the spokesperson stated.

US health officials and experts have increasingly looked into the theory that Covid-19 leaked out of a Chinese lab, after initially considering it more likely that it came from animals.

A Wall Street Journal report on Sunday revealing that three researchers at the Wuhan Institute of Virology became sick and hospitalized in November 2019 led the White House to reiterate calls for an independent investigation into the origins.

In his statement on Wednesday, Biden said he requested that the intelligence community ‘redouble their efforts to collect and analyze information that could bring us closer to a definitive conclusion’.

‘As part of that report, I have asked for areas of further inquiry that may be required, including specific questions for China,’ Biden stated. ‘I have also asked that this effort include work by our National Labs and other agencies of our government to augment the Intelligence Community’s efforts.’

Biden’s statement came the day after CNN reported that his administration shut down an effort late in the Trump administration to prove that Covid-19 leaked from the Wuhan lab.

Former President Donald Trump, who in April and May 2020 associated Covid-19 to a lab leak, on Tuesday claimed he ‘was right’.

‘Now everybody is agreeing that I was right when I very early on called Wuhan as the source of Covid-19, sometimes referred to as the China Virus,’ Trump said in a statement. ‘To me it was obvious from the beginning but I was badly criticized, as usual.’

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