President Joe Biden's top COVID-19 advisor, Dr. Anthony Fauci, has confirmed that he is "not convinced" that coronavirus developed spontaneously. He has called for further research into how the deadly virus spread.

According to a previously undisclosed US intelligence survey, three researchers from China's Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) received medical attention in November 2019, months before the COVID-19 pandemic was announced.

The study may add weight to calls for a more thorough investigation into whether the COVID-19 virus escaped from the laboratory, according to the Wall Street Journal. The said study offered new information on the number of researchers involved, the timing of their infections, and their hospital visits.

The report was made public during a World Health Organization's (WHO) decision-making board meeting, which is expected to discuss the COVID-19 investigation's next steps. According to a National Security Council spokeswoman, the Biden administration appears to have "serious concerns about the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic and its origins within the People's Republic of China," according to a National Security Council spokeswoman.

She alleged that the US government collaborated with the WHO and other member states to promote an independent and politicized inquiry into the pandemic's origins.

"We won't make statements that prejudge an open WHO investigation into the origins of SARS-CoV-2, but we've been aware that sound and scientifically valid explanations should be carefully tested by international experts," she added in an online tabloid.

Current and former officials familiar with the lab researchers' intelligence exchanged various perspectives on the report's supporting evidence, with one anonymous source indicating that further analysis and corroboration were required.

The United States, Norway, Canada, the United Kingdom, and other countries expressed their displeasure with the WHO-led COVID-19 origins study in March, calling for further analysis and full access to all related human, animal, and other data from the outbreak's early stages. Washington wants China to collaborate and be more open, according to a source familiar with the initiative.

Last Thursday, the New York Post said the House Intelligence Committee published a study claiming "strong circumstantial evidence" that COVID-19 emerged from a leak at China's Wuhan Institute of Virology. The report added that the US government "may have supported or collaborated" in the research that led to it.

"International efforts to discover the true source of the virus, however, have been stymied by a lack of cooperation from the People's Republic of China," the Republicans wrote in the report.

At the hearing, Fauci and Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) sparred about whether the US government-funded "gain of function" research at the Wuhan lab. The said function involves making a virus more potent in a controlled lab environment to develop better vaccines to combat it.

“Sen. Paul, with all due respect, you are entirely and completely incorrect … the NIH has not ever and does not now fund gain of function research in the Wuhan Institute,” Fauci said.

Dr. Anthony Fauci
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, puts his mask back on during a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing to discuss the ongoing federal response to COVID-19 on May 11, 2021 in Washington, DC. Photo by Greg Nash-Pool/Getty Images

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