COVID-19: US intelligence rules out biological weapon origin

By – Kanvi Gupta

A report by the United States Intelligence Community concluded that the virus that causes COVID-19 was not been developed as a biological weapon. The unclassified summary of the report revealed that most of the intelligence agencies also believe that the virus was not been genetically engineered. However one of the agencies also believed that it is likely that the virus had leaked from the lab. According to the four elements of the Intelligence Community and the National Intelligence Council, natural exposure of an animal with the virus was the most likely cause of the outbreak.

President Joe Biden accused China of withholding crucial information which could help in revealing the pandemic’s origins and prevent the world from future pandemics.

The U.S. Intelligence Community gave the credence idea which was once been dismissed as a conspiracy theory that the first human SARS-CoV-2 infection arose from an incident at the Wuhan Institute of Virology in China. The outbreak that had begun in the city of Wuhan in December 2019, has claimed over 4.5 million lives worldwide.

The intelligence Community last week published an unclassified summary of a report. It revealed that one element of the community assesses that with “moderate confidence” that the first infection “most likely was the result of the laboratory-associated incidents probably involving experimentation, animal handling and sampling by the Wuhan Institute of Virology.”

The report also showed that since clinical and epidemiological data were lacking during the reporting of the first cases of COVID-19, U.S. intelligence agencies remained divided about the origins of the virus. The report is clear at one point that the virus was not a biological weapon.

Most of the agencies believe that with the low confidence that the virus was also not the result of genetic engineering. However, responding on Twitter to the intelligence report, the Chinese ambassador to the United Kingdom, Zheng Zeguang, said that the United States gave the order to its intelligence agents instead of its virologists to trace COVID-19 origins but still came up with no result. It is the time they should stop the unwarranted and repetitive accusations against China.

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