The White House's Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) has asked scientists to investigate whether the deadly 2019 Coronavirus was bio-engineered in a laboratory.
ABC News reports that the OSTP sent a letter to the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, asking that scientific experts "rapidly" look into the origins of the virus.
The news comes amid reports that the virus was developed in the only level 4 biohazard lab in China.
The Wuhan Institute of Virology lab is located near the Wuhan fish and wildlife market where Chinese authorities claim the virus jumped from animal to human.
ABC News' Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Jennifer Ashton asked the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease about concerns that the coronavirus could have been engineered or deliberately released into the population in Wuhan, China.
"There's always that concern," Dr. Anthony Fauci said. "And one of the things that people are doing right now is very carefully looking at [gene] sequences to see if there's even any possibility much less likelihood that that's going on."
The White House has good reason to be concerned that the 2019 Coronavirus may have been developed inside a laboratory.
For over a decade, Peng studied the immune system of Chinese horseshoe bats, which carry some of the world's deadliest pathogens such as SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) and Ebola, Marburg virus, and Lassa Virus.
Peng studied bats to understand why they carried such dangerous pathogens inside them but never get sick.
Normally, SARS-like Coronavirus found in bats can not infect humans. Bat virus would have to be genetically engineered in a lab or evolve naturally in nature to infect humans.
The theory is that Peng and his team of researchers - after discovering they couldn't make the bats sick - began experimenting with bat Coronavirus to modify it to bind to human ACE2 receptor cells in the lungs to infect humans.
Zerohdege.com reports that Peng studied the STING pathway immune defenses in bats and injected the bats with genetically altered virus to overcome their pathways in order to make the bats sick. But the virus did not enter the bat cells.
Peng discovered that the combined SARS-like Coronavirus and HIV superbug could not attach to bat ACE2 receptor cells.
But the superbug was able to enter human cells via human ACE2 receptor cells.
Peng justified his research by claiming he modified the bat virus in order to develop a vaccine before the bat virus could naturally evolve to infect humans in nature.