Intelligence Community Divided and Uncertain on COVID-19 Origins in New Report
Summary from AllSides News Team
US intelligence agencies reached varied and relatively uncertain conclusions on the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to an unclassified two-page report released Friday. Four unnamed intelligence agencies and the National Intelligence Council assessed with low confidence that the virus most likely originated naturally, one agency assessed with moderate confidence that the virus most likely came from a “laboratory-associated incident,” and three agencies said they were unable to come to a conclusion without additional information. All agencies agreed that both origin theories were “plausible,” that the virus was not a biological weapon, and that Chinese officials did not have foreknowledge of the virus before the first outbreak. Both the report and a statement from President Joe Biden criticized China for withholding information and called on China to cooperate with investigators. Biden had requested the intelligence community’s investigation in May.
While many outlets covered leaks of the report’s conclusions as early as Aug. 24, outlets across the spectrum covered the report’s release on Friday. Some coverage in left-rated outlets highlighted China’s lack of foreknowledge of the virus. Some coverage in right-rated outlets focused on the lab leak theory.
Featured Coverage of this Story
From the LeftUS intelligence community review does not determine origin of Covid-19
The US intelligence community reached an inconclusive assessment about the origin of the Covid-19 virus following a 90-day investigation ordered by President Joe Biden, according to an unclassified summary of the probe released publicly on Friday.
The intelligence community is still divided about which of the two theories -- that the virus came from a lab leak or that it jumped from animal to human naturally -- is likely to be correct, the intelligence community said. There is consensus among the intelligence agencies that the two prevailing theories are plausible, according to the...
From the CenterU.S. intelligence community says it cannot solve COVID mystery without China
The U.S. intelligence community does not believe it can resolve a debate over whether a Chinese laboratory incident was the source of COVID-19 without more information, U.S. officials said in a declassified summary on Friday.
U.S. officials said only China can help solve questions about the true origins of the virus that has now killed 4.6 million people worldwide. "China's cooperation most likely would be needed to reach a conclusive assessment of the origins of COVID-19," they said.
President Joe Biden, who received a classified report earlier this week summarizing the investigation he...
From the RightIntel Agencies Split over COVID-19 Origin, in Long-Awaited Report
A newly declassified U.S. intel report on the origins of the novel coronavirus reveals that one intelligence agency has assessed with moderate confidence that the virus emerged from a lab-leak, while four others assessed with low confidence that COVID-19 originated from natural exposure to an infected animal.
The report says that the intelligence community “remains divided on the most likely origin of COVID-19” and that “all agencies assess that two hypotheses are plausible: natural exposure to an infected animal and a laboratory-associated incident.”