By – Arun Shekhar Jawla
China was been trying to conceal “critical information” regarding the origins of COVID-19, said President Joe Biden. According to the U.S. intelligence, the virus was not a bioweapon — but continued to argue on whether it escaped from a lab or not.
The U.S. believes that Chinese officials had no prior knowledge of the virus before the initial outbreak of the pandemic which has now claimed around 4.5 million lives.
The government officials in China have been working to hide the critical information about the origins of this pandemic from international investigators and members of the global public health community and restricting access to them. China has again and again shown a blatant disregard for transparency and has withheld information which resulted in a continuous rise in the pandemic toll. Moreover, the U.S. intelligence has ruled out that the coronavirus was developed as a weapon. The community remains at odds on the pathogen’s origins while most are in favor of ‘natural exposure to an animal’ theory, still there are those who believe in the lab leak theory. Some are yet to reach any conclusion.
As per the summary, the variations in analytic views largely stem from differences in how agencies weigh intelligence reporting and scientific publications, and intelligence and scientific gaps. The scientists have been lacking clinical samples or data from the earliest Covid-19 cases which can prove its existence.
Mr. Biden said the United States would continue to work with allies to press Beijing to share more information and cooperate with the World Health Organization. “We must have a full and transparent accounting of this global tragedy. Nothing less is acceptable,” he said.
The office of the director of national intelligence said it was reviewing de-classifying parts of the report in the near future, in light of the historic nature of the pandemic and the importance of informing the public, all the while protecting its sources and methods.
Recent scientific papers, however, are tilting the debate back towards a zoonotic origin. While researchers in China and the University of Glasgow published a paper in the journal Science that found “animal-to-human transmission associated with infected live animals is the most likely cause of the COVID-19 pandemic.” Additionally, a paper by 21 top virologists in the journal Cell bluntly concluded– there is currently no evidence that SARS-CoV-2 has a laboratory origin.