The Biden administration has joined 13 other nations in condemning the World Health Organization’s report on COVID-19’s origins. In a Tuesday briefing, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said the limited scope of the investigation demanded a follow-up.

“The report lacks crucial data, information and access. It represents a partial and incomplete picture,” Psaki said. “There’s a second stage in this process that we believe should be led by international and independent experts. They should have unfettered access to data.”

Australia, Canada, Czechia, Denmark, Estonia, Israel, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, the Republic of Korea, Slovenia, and the U.K. all joined a letter saying the initial investigation, heavily delayed by Chinese officials, was insufficient.

“The international expert study on the source of the SARS-CoV-2 virus was significantly delayed and lacked access to complete, original data and samples. Scientific missions like these should be able to do their work under conditions that produce independent and objective recommendations and findings,” it reads.

The virus first emerged in the Chinese city of Wuhan in December 2019
The virus first emerged in the Chinese city of Wuhan in December 2019 AFP / Hector RETAMAL

The authors of the 120-page report published Tuesday actually agreed that further investigation was needed, noting that the exact origin of the deadly virus hadn’t yet been determined.

“Finding the origin of a virus takes time and we owe it to the world to find the source so we can collectively take steps to reduce the risk of this happening again. No single research trip can provide all the answers,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said Tuesday.

What the report’s critics add is a suspicion of the CCP’s heavy-handed obstruction. A growing chorus within the scientific community and public health officials has called for a reconsideration of the initially dismissed theory that COVID-19 was released in a lab accident.

Those calls have been made more complicated by a recent spike in racist incidents against Asian communities. The theory was initially pushed by the Trump’s administration, which critics said was motivated by animus rather than evidence.

The Biden administration has walked a careful line between condemning racist attacks from the alt-right and remaining skeptical of the Chinese party’s version of events.

“Well, [China has] not been transparent. They have not provided underlying data. That certainly doesn’t qualify as cooperation,” Psaki said Tuesday.