The US intelligence community, in its report on the origins of the coronavirus, concluded that it was not developed as a biological weapon. A declassified version of the document, which summarizes the intelligence services’ findings, was published on Friday on the website of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.
“We believe that the virus was not developed as a biological weapon,” the document says.
“Most agencies (in the US intelligence community) also give a low confidence assessment that SARS-CoV-2 probably was not genetically engineered, but two agencies believe that there is not enough evidence to give one or the other. assessment on this matter, “- also noted in the text.
It emphasizes that the US intelligence services have not come to a common conclusion about the origin of the virus and “their opinions still differ.” “All departments believe that two hypotheses are plausible: natural contact with an infected animal and an incident in the laboratory,” – said in the published version of the document.
The US intelligence community concluded that the PRC authorities did not know about the new virus before the outbreak of the disease.
“The intelligence community estimated that Chinese officials had no prior knowledge of the virus before the initial outbreak of COVID-19 began,” the text reads.
At the same time, the document notes that the virus, according to American intelligence, “probably originated and led to human infection through an initial small-scale contact, which occurred no later than November 2019.” However, “the first known series of COVID-19 cases occurred in Wuhan, China, in December 2019.”
The US intelligence community has come to the conclusion that, most likely, it will not be able to give a final assessment of the origin of the coronavirus without the assistance of China. “The intelligence community believes that we will not be able to provide a clearer explanation of the origin of COVID-19 until new information allows us to determine the specific pathway by which the initial natural contact with the animal occurred, or to establish that the laboratory in Wuhan was working with SARS-CoV- 2 or a similar precursor virus before COVID-19 emerged, “the report says.
“Most likely, China’s assistance will be required to give a final assessment of the origin of COVID-19,” the American intelligence services admit. However, according to their version, Beijing at the moment “continues to obstruct the global investigation, does not want to share information and blames other countries, including the United States.” “These actions reflect in part that the Chinese government itself is not sure what the investigation may lead to, as well as their concern that the international community is using this topic to exert political pressure on China,” the US intelligence community said.
US President Joe Biden said in May that the US intelligence community does not have enough information to say with certainty how the spread of SARS-CoV-2 began: after human contact with an infected animal or because of a possible incident in the laboratory of the Wuhan Institute of Virology in China … The American leader then instructed the intelligence agencies to redouble efforts to study all available data and prepare a new report for him in 90 days. A classified version of this document was presented to Biden on Tuesday.