Sources from within the World Health Organization state that they believe time is of the essence if the world is to have any chance of getting to the bottom of the origins of the COVID-19 virus.
The WHO is putting together a team of 20 experts together with the stated goal of figuring out the origins of the pandemic. There are concerns that time is running out for an investigation like this, or that it could already be too late.
According to Fox News, a WHO spokesperson said that the team will need "data and access in the country where the first reports were identified," which is China.
"China still holds all the cards, the WHO lacks power and it's inconceivable to me that a new committee will be able to negotiate access to China…This is building a beautiful committee with nowhere to go," Lawrence Gostin, the Director of Faculty for Georgetown University's O'Neill Institute for National and Global and Health Law, said.
Klon Kitchen, a former officer for the US Office of the Director of National Intelligence, said that transparency on the part of the Chinese government at this point is highly unlikely.
"China is highly incentivized and capable of denying us this information," Kitchen said. "They're incentivized to deny us this information because no matter what it is – whether it was a wet market or a biological facility as its origin – it's embarrassing to the Chinese Communist Party."
The Biden administration has consistently trusted the World Health Organization and their efforts to investigate the origins of the virus. "The President believes there needs to be an independent investigation, one that's run by the international community. It's an international pandemic that has killed hundreds of thousands of people around the world," said White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki in May.
"He believes the Chinese need to do more to put forward data, to be more transparent. And in the second phase of this effort, he's certainly hopeful that will be the case, and he believes that every theory should be explored through that process but that we shouldn't jump to conclusions before that data and that information is made available."
President Trump had pulled out of the World Health Organization in the spring of 2020 after the emergence of the virus, and what his administration believed to be excessive deference by the WHO to Chinese interests.
It was in February 2020 that Biden said "...were I president now, I would not be taking China's word for it," saying that he "would insist that China allow our scientists in to make a hard determination of how it started, where it's from, how far along it is."