President Joe Biden has ordered the government’s leading research laboratories to join the search for the true origins of the COVID-19 pandemic by sifting through a massive trove of previously unexamined data, according to new reports.
Biden on Wednesday ordered the 17 National Labs run by the Department of Energy to assist the intelligence community in a 90-day sprint to examine whether the virus leaked from a lab in China. The labs have been tapped ‘because of their ability to crunch massive amounts of data’ with their advanced supercomputers, a White House official told CNN.
The government is not revealing exactly what kind of data is being submitted for analysis, but experts say it is likely previously gathered intelligence such as signal intercepts or biological evidence.
Intelligence agencies regularly collect more raw data than their analysts are able to effectively pore through, and the application of advanced algorithms to seek patterns in the massive data set could offer new breakthroughs.
‘We want the science to be a big part of this,’ the White House official told CNN. ‘We are going to use the full resources of our intelligence and scientific community to try to get to the bottom of this.’ Biden is also urging U.S. intelligence agencies and those of allies to hunt for new information that could shed light on whether China covered up a lab leak.
Senator Tom Cotton, an Arkansas Republican, said the Biden administration’s response was ‘better late than never, but far from adequate.’ ‘Our intelligence community has been looking at this now for 15 months. They’ve done good work on it, but in the end the answer lies in the hands of Chinese communists, not people working for American intelligence agencies,’ he told the Arkansas Democrat Gazette.