US intelligence community publish ‘inconclusive’ report about Covid origin

US spy agencies publish 'inconclusive' report
A sick child in Houston, Texas, is taken to hospital after testing positive for Covid. Source: Getty Images
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Daily US Times: The US intelligence community has not been able to determine the origins of Covid-19 and is split on whether it developed in nature or leaked from a lab, according to a new report.

The report issued by the office that oversees the country’s 18 spy agencies did conclusively determine that the virus was not developed as a biological weapon.

Experts warn that time is running out to gather evidence of the beginnings of Covid-19.

The foreign minister of China has dismissed the report as “anti-science”.

The report from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence said the intelligence community remains divided on the virus’ most likely origin.

The report says: “All agencies assess that two hypotheses are plausible: natural exposure to an infected animal and a laboratory-associated incident.”

Several unnamed spy agencies thought Covid emerged from “natural exposure to an animal infected with it or a close progenitor virus”, according to the report, adding that they only had “low confidence” in this conclusion.

One intelligence agency developed “moderate confidence” that the first human infection by the virus was likely due a “laboratory-associated incident” at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, which has studied coronaviruses in bats for more than a decade.

President Joe Biden issued a statement after the report’s publication, criticising Beijing for not co-operating with the investigation.

Biden said the world deserves answers, and vowed that he will not rest ”until we get them.”

The coronavirus pandemic, which has claimed nearly 4.5 million lives across the world, began in the Chinese city of Wuhan in December 2019.

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