No direct evidence COVID began in Wuhan lab, US intel report says


Share post:

The U.S. intelligence community has found no direct evidence of a “biosafety incident” or of the pre-pandemic presence of the virus that causes COVID-19 at a laboratory in Wuhan, China, according to a report released Friday by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI).   

The newly declassified document added details to a growing body of inconclusive evidence about the origins of the pandemic. 

The 10-page report, which was mandated by legislation passed by Congress and signed into law in March by President Biden, looked specifically at potential links between the Wuhan Institute of Virology and the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, but did not make an assessment of the likelihood the outbreak began there.  

While some lab researchers heightened their risk of accidental exposure to viruses at WIV through insufficient safety precautions, and “several” fell ill in the fall of 2019, the report found, U.S. intelligence agencies remain divided on whether the pandemic began through natural transmission or by accident. 

The report notes that some scientists at the institute genetically engineered coronaviruses through common practices, but that there was “no information” indicating such work was done on the virus that causes COVID-19. “Almost all” the agencies studying the issue assess the virus “was not genetically engineered,” it said.  

The report also says that several WIV researchers showed some symptoms “consistent with but not diagnostic of COVID-19” in the fall of 2019, with some showing symptoms unrelated to the disease, and some confirmed to have been sick with other, unrelated illnesses.  

The timing and type of the workers’ illnesses “neither supports nor refutes either hypothesis of the pandemic’s origins because the researchers’ symptoms could have been caused by a number of diseases and some of the symptoms were not consistent with COVID-19,” the report said.  

China has consistently denied that the virus originated in the Wuhan lab and a spokesperson for its Foreign Ministry previously accused the U.S. of a “politicization of origin tracing.”  

In a pair of declassified assessments released last year, ODNI revealed that U.S. intelligence agencies had coalesced around two “plausible” theories – that the virus was the result of natural transmission or the result of a lab accident.  

In Friday’s report, their breakdown was consistent. Five U.S. intelligence entities continue to believe that the virus originated naturally. Two, the FBI and the Department of Energy, favor the lab leak theory, albeit “for different reasons.” And the CIA and another agency have been unable to make a determination without additional information.  

“The Chinese Communist Party and the Chinese People’s Liberation Army have some serious explaining to do,” said House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Turner and Chairman of the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic Brad Wenstrup in a joint statement, adding their view that ODNI’s report added “credence” to the lab leak theory. 

“While we appreciate the report from ODNI, the corroboration of all available evidence along with further investigation into the origins of COVID-19 must continue,” they said.   

In public testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee in March, Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines said the lack of cooperation from the Chinese government was a “key, critical gap” in explaining the pandemic’s origins.  

“It is a really challenging issue,” Haines told the panel in March. “And I think our folks honestly are trying to do the best that they can to figure out what, exactly, happened, based on the information they have available to them.”  

Source link

Lisa Holden
Lisa Holden
Lisa Holden is a news writer for LinkDaddy News. She writes health, sport, tech, and more. Some of her favorite topics include the latest trends in fitness and wellness, the best ways to use technology to improve your life, and the latest developments in medical research.

Recent posts

Related articles

Hillary Clinton Won't Leave the Stage, Ponders Trump's Psyche, Obsesses Over Russia, Russia, Russia

Hillary Clinton is the guest who wouldn’t leave, or at least the guest who was never invited....

Laugh of the Day: Rand Paul Responds to AI Pic of Himself in Bathrobe After Senate Dress Code Change

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) changed the Senate dress code seemingly to accommodate the refusal of Sen....

Burger King Facing Boycotts for Pulling Advertising From Rumble Over Russell Brand Controversy

The controversy over the sexual assault allegations against podcaster and comedian Russell Brand continues to dominate political...

Airline Pays Over $1,400 to Couple Tortured by Farting Dog During Flight

Singapore Airlines has paid a New Zealand couple over $1,400 after their flight experience went from “premium”...

AOC's Amusing Answers: Why Rubio Is Responsible for Flood of Illegal Aliens, Why She Still Has Her Tesla

If we were kind, we could say that Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) has some "unique" views of...

Former Wakulla County Deputy Sheriff Arrested on 'Lewd and Lascivious' Child Molestation Charges

A former Wakulla County Sheriff’s deputy is facing grave allegations of child molestation in Florida. The arrest...

WATCH: Americans Sound off Against 'Bidenomics' as President Earns Worst Numbers Poll Has Ever Seen

I wrote earlier about the WaPo/ABC poll that had former President Donald Trump up by ten points...

The Significant Results and New Rankings From NCAA Football: Week #4

This week delivered a number of key matchups on the schedule, guaranteeing that there would be shakeups...