Facebook’s spokesperson has announced that the social network will no longer delete posts that describe the coronavirus as artificially created.
The announcement follows a Sunday story by the Wall Street Journal about three researchers from the Wuhan Institute of Virology in China getting sick in November, citing US intelligence data. The Chinese Foreign Ministry has already rejected the WSJ reporting as not corresponding to reality. US President Joe Biden on Wednesday ordered an intelligence review of the virus’ origins.
“In light of ongoing investigations into the origin of COVID-19 and in consultation with public health experts, we will no longer remove the claim that COVID-19 is man-made from our apps,” the spokesperson said in an update to coronavirus misinformation policy on Wednesday.
The first COVID-19 case was reported in December 2019 in Wuhan, located in the central Chinese province of Hubei. Later, the World Health Organization sent several fact-finding missions to the area and released a full report in March which concluded that the leak from the lab was “extremely unlikely.” WHO experts further concluded that the virus was transmitted to humans from bats through another animal.