US President Joe Biden has issued a directive giving intelligence agencies 90 days to uncover the origins of the coronavirus.
It comes in the wake of a campaign from concerned scientists and academics who believe the virus could have been caused by a laboratory accident.
President Biden said the US intelligence community has coalesced around two likely scenarios but has not reached a definitive conclusion on this question.
The two options are firstly the coronavirus initially developed in animals and then passed to humans and secondly the virus was caused by a laboratory accident.
The president said he had asked the intelligence community to keep Congress fully apprised of the work.
He also took a shot at his predecessor saying the failure to get our inspectors on the ground in those early months will always hamper any investigation into the origins of COVID-19.
The new directive comes after CNN was told Biden shut down a state-department effort to prove coronavirus had originated in a Chinese lab started under Donald Trump.