DHAKA – US President Joe Biden’s order to engage US intelligence agencies in the investigation of COVID-19 origins is intended to “cover up the country’s failures” in controlling the pandemic and is “not acceptable”, former Bangladeshi minister Hasanul Haq Inu said.

Inu, now chairman of Bangladesh’s Parliamentary Standing Committee for Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, told Xinhua in an exclusive interview on Sunday that the COVID-19 pandemic should not be politicized and should be tackled collectively.

He was speaking of the order Biden gave to the US intelligence agencies, demanding a report within 90 days on whether the virus originated from an animal source or from a laboratory accident.

President Biden’s approach is “unilateral” and not needed at the moment, he said, adding that there is a need for a multilateral approach for cooperation and investigation in order to combat COVID-19.

The Bangladeshi political veteran said the COVID-19 pandemic is being very effectively tackled in China by the Chinese government and there is a big failure in the United States.

“So, to divert or to cover up the failures of combating COVID-19 in America and Europe, the Americans are trying to divert the issue to other areas” with “totally a political move by the Biden administration,” Inu said.

He expects the United States to “accept the failures” and “go for a multilateral approach”.

“The US intelligence is very biased,” he said, adding that it “feeds us and the world with false information”.

The World Health Organization in March released a report on the global tracing of COVID-19 origins, following a joint research with China on issues including the pathways of the virus and future investigation in different countries.

Making assessment of the likelihood of possible pathways, the report said COVID-19 introduction through a laboratory incident is “extremely unlikely”, introduction through an intermediate host is “likely to very likely”, and introduction through cold/food chain products is “possible”.