New Haven Register (New Haven, CT)
U.S. intelligence still divided on virus origins
U.S. intelligence agencies remain divided on the origins of the coronavirus but believe China’s leaders did not know about the virus before the start of the global pandemic, according to results released Friday of a review ordered by President Joe Biden.
According to an unclassified summary, four members of the U.S. intelligence community say with low confidence that the virus was initially transmitted from an animal to a human. A fifth agency believes with moderate confidence that the first human infection was linked to a lab. Analysts do not believe the virus was developed as a bioweapon and most agencies believe the virus was not genetically engineered.
The Office of the Director of National Intelligence said in a statement Friday that China “continues to hinder the global investigation, resist sharing information and blame other countries, including the United States.” Reaching a conclusion about what caused the virus likely requires China’s cooperation, the office said.
The cause of the virus remains an urgent public health and security concern worldwide. In the U.S., many conservatives have accused Chinese scientists of developing COVID-19 in a lab and allowing it to leak.
The scientific consensus remains that the virus most likely migrated from animals in what’s known as a zoonotic transmission.