The theory that COVID-19 may have leaked from a lab in Wuhan that collects and studies coronaviruses is gaining wider acceptance—and while some scientists believe the lab's researchers may have collected the virus from the wild, Facebook is no longer treating claims it was manufactured as misinformation. The social media company, which said in February that claims "COVID-19 is man-made or manufactured" would be removed from its platforms, said Wednesday that the move has been reversed, Politico reports. A spokesperson said the decision was made amid "ongoing investigations into the origin of COVID-19 and in consultation with public health experts."
"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 spokesperson said. The lab-leak theory gained credence following a report that researchers at the Wuhan Institute of Virology became ill with COVID-like symptoms in November 2019. Earlier this month, Dr. Anthony Fauci said he was "not convinced" that the virus developed naturally and he wants a full investigation in China, the Hill reports. President Biden acknowledged Wednesday that intelligence agencies are split on whether the virus came from a lab. He told agencies to redouble their efforts to find the origin of the virus and report back to him in 90 days. (Read more coronavirus stories.)