Facebook says it will no longer remove posts saying COVID-19 was “man-made.”
The social media company lifted the ban Wednesday in the wake of a Wall Street Journal report that three researchers at the Wuhan Institute of Virology in Wuhan, China, were hospitalized in November 2019, months before the coronavirus pandemic ravaged the globe.
“In light of the 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,” a Facebook spokesperson said in an emailed statement, Axios reported.
“We’re continuing to work with health experts to keep pace with the evolving nature of the pandemic and regularly update our policies as new facts and trends emerge,” the spokesman said, Axios reported.
Many, including former President Donald Trump, had claimed the virus originated in the Wuhan lab, but the lab steadfastly denied the claims, and the idea that the virus is human-made was summarily dismissed as a conspiracy theory.
But the reports of ill researchers — which the lab also strongly denied — have renewed interest in determining exactly where the coronavirus began, with the U.S. intelligence community saying it isn’t 100% certain it wasn’t human-made.
President Biden has called for the U.S. intelligence community to provide a report in 90 days “that could bring us closer to a definitive conclusion.”