ended its ban on publications claiming Covid-19 was man-made or fabricated, a change in policy that reflects a growing debate over the origins of the pandemic that was first identified in Wuhan, China , almost 18 months ago.
The Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday that three researchers from the Chinese Institute of Virology in Wuhan became sick enough in November 2019 to seek treatment in hospital, according to a previously undisclosed US intelligence report.
President Biden on Wednesday ordered a U.S. intelligence investigation into the origins of the virus. The White House came under pressure to conduct its own investigation after China told the World Health Organization it considered Beijing’s part of the investigation to be over, calling for efforts to trace the origins of the viruses to travel to other countries.
Earlier this month, a group of 18 prominent scientists called for further investigation into the circumstances under which the virus emerged, including the possibility that a lab accident had released it.
China has repeatedly denied that the virus escaped from one of its laboratories and accused the United States of touting the theory of laboratory leaks. China’s Foreign Ministry on Sunday cited the conclusion of a WHO-led team after a visit to the Wuhan Institute of Virology in February that a laboratory leak was extremely unlikely.
In February, Facebook began banning claims that the virus was man-made or made as part of a list of deceptive health claims that are not allowed.
“We continue 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,” Facebook said in its Wednesday statement.
Write to Newley Purnell à [email protected]
Copyright © 2020 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All rights reserved. 87990cbe856818d5eddac44c7b1cdeb8