WATCH: White House implements 90-day review into COVID origins

When asked by a reporter why the White House has changed its focus from the WHO investigation to its own 90 day review, Jean-Pierre said "Nothing has changed if you think about it."

Hannah Nightingale Washington DC

White House Deputy Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre was questioned on Wednesday about the planned 90 day review announced by President Biden on the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic, which many are questioning whether it came from the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

Fox New's Peter Doocy questioned Jean-Pierre about the potential for any punishment given to China if the results come back that this came from the lab and China had impeded the initial investigation "Would President Biden do anything?" he asked?

Jean-Pierre responded that although the White House wasn't going to comment on the question surrounding punishment until after the 90 day review, that Biden "is doing something right now. He asked his team back in March to do this, to look into the origins of COVID-19. This is incredibly important."

Jean-Pierre stressed the importance of finding the origins, stating that President Biden has been incredibly vocal and clear about the issue as far back as 2020 on the origins.

"I'm just not going to prejudge, I'm not going to make a statement until the we know what happens after this 90 day review," she continued.

When asked by a reporter why the White House has changed its focus from the WHO investigation to its own 90 day review, Jean-Pierre said "Nothing has changed if you think about it."

"The President has asked his team to look into this back in March, so this is something that has been ongoing. We have been pretty vocal with WHO these past several months, and so this is just a continuation of what the president has been focused on. We're going to see what happens these next 90 days. As we just read out, it was inconclusive so we need to get to the bottom of this."

Speaking to China's previous lack of cooperation in investigations, Jean-Pierre said "China wasn't transparent enough, we have been saying that for a long time that China needed to provide more access to the lab, cooperate more fully with the scientific investigators, and we don't think they have met that standard."

When questioned on whether China would answer the questions it wants regarding the origins of COVID-19, Jean-Pierre stressed the importance of a global effort in cooperation with the WHO to find the origins of the pandemic.

"Why do we think China would cooperate?"

"This is something you would have to ask the Chinese government," said Jean-Pierre, adding that its something that "should" matter to them as well.

Philip Wegmann tweeted that he had asked about the president's confidence in the WHO, to which Jean-Pierre had replied that "one of the reasons the Biden admin rejoined WHO 'is to be able to hold them accountable as well... this is a global institution that brings everyone together'" his tweet reads.

President Joe Biden issued a statement earlier on Wednesday announcing the 90 day review of the report issued earlier this month on the origins of COVID-19, of which the Intelligence Community has "coalesced around two likely scenarios" that include an infected animal or laboratory accident.

"I have now asked the Intelligence Community to redouble their efforts to collect and analyze information that could bring us closer to a definitive conclusion, and to report back to me in 90 days. As part of that report, I have asked for areas of further inquiry that may be required, including specific questions for China. 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. And I have asked the Intelligence Community to keep Congress fully apprised of its work," the statement reads.


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