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Facebook posts claiming that COVID-19 was "man-made" will no longer be removed, the social media giant announced Wednesday.
Why it matters: The lifting of the ban reflects a reinvigorated debate on the origins of the pandemic in recent days, following a Wall Street Journal report that three researchers at the Wuhan Institute of Virology were hospitalized in November 2019 after falling ill.
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President Biden has asked the U.S. intelligence community to step up efforts to investigate the origins of the coronavirus and provide a report within 90 days that "could bring us closer to a definitive conclusion."
The big picture: Biden administration officials and others criticized an investigation by a team of scientists assembled by the World Health Organization and China's government, that returned inconclusive findings on the pandemic's origins.
Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra called for a "transparent, science-based" follow-up investigation during a World Health Assembly meeting on Tuesday.
What they're saying: "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," a Facebook spokesperson said in an emailed statement.
"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."
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