Biden walks AWAY from reporters after being asked if he will ‘hold China accountable’ for COVID — after official report said it likely came from lab leak
- The president approached reporters as he left the White House
- Several reporters raised questions, including one about the origins of COVID
- Biden threw up his hands and looked “annoyed,” then walked away
President Joe Biden got a head start on his weekend Friday after approaching reporters at the White House — only to brush off their questions about COVID and other matters and walk away.
Biden walked out of the White House on Friday afternoon preparing to end a week of huddling with Democrats and the news that he had a cancerous tumor removed from his chest.
Answering a brief question about Paul Whelan, the American being held in Russia, he said: “We are working on it,” after Secretary of State Antony Blinken revealed that the US had tabled a “serious proposal” for his release and brought it up. directly with the Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov.
Next, Biden approached a group of reporters as if to speak. Several of them shouted questions, as is the custom – one asking if he would hold China “responsible” for the origins of COVID-19.
President Joe Biden walked up to reporters on the South Lawn of the White House – then turned abruptly without speaking to them as several questions were asked
Then he grimaced and shrugged. He turned and walked toward Marine One—he left the White House without another word.
The White House said this week there was still no “consensus” in the administration on whether the virus originated in the natural environment or escaped from a Chinese research lab in Wuhan.
Nor did Biden speak when asked about student loans while boarding Air Force One at Joint Base Andrews.
He was accompanied on the trip by former adviser Steve Ricchetti and Terry Wolff, a Middle East specialist from the National Security Council.
According to a White House reporter, Biden “raised both hands and shrugged.” seems annoyedand then turned and walked away in the direction of Marine One.”
It wasn’t clear if Biden was bothered by the cacophony of questions — which is a regular occurrence — or anything about the nature of the COVID question.
Biden also declined to answer a question as he boarded Air Force One en route to his home in Wilmington on Friday
The question came days after a report from the energy department supported the theory that the coronavirus likely leaked from a laboratory in Wuhan, though the analysis was made with “little confidence”.
It came days after a shocking report that scientists at the Department of Energy had completed an analysis with low confidence that the COVID-19 pandemic originated from a Chinese laboratory in Wuhan.
On Wednesday, the Senate voted unanimously on a bill that would require the administration to release all information about the origins of COVID-19 and about the Wuhan Institute of Virology. That bill was sponsored by Sens. Josh Hawley (R-MO) and Mike Braun (R-IN)
A bill from Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-Wis.), who chairs a new House Select Committee on China and serves on the House Intelligence panel, is expected to match the Senate’s measure and soon pass in the House to appear. He reintroduced the measure on Friday.
The Department of Energy has reversed its position and concluded on the basis of new information that the Covid-19 virus most likely leaked from a Chinese research laboratory. Pictured is the Wuhan Institute of Virology in February 2021
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning denounced what she called “politicization” of theories about the origins of COVID-19, following an analysis by the Energy Department that pointed to the possibility of a leak from the Wuhan lab
That bill states that “there is reason to believe that the COVID-195 pandemic may have originated in the Wuhan Institute of Virology.”
It says that the “Director of National Intelligence should declassify as much information as possible and make it available to the public.”
It says that 90 days after coming into effect, the DNI will “release all information pertaining to possible links between the Wuhan Institute of Virology and the origin of the coronavirus disease 25 2019 (COVID–19).”
Normally, the executive branch deals with declassification cases. It was not immediately clear how the White House would respond.