An unclassified summary from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence released Friday found that one intel agency assessed with "moderate confidence" that COVID-19 emerged out of the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
"One IC element," the report states, "assesses with moderate confidence that the first human infection with SARS-CoV-2 most likely was the result of a laboratory-associated incident, probably involving experimentation, animal handling, or sampling by the Wuhan Institute of Virology."
Despite the likelihood of such a scenario, the four unnamed intelligence agencies mentioned in the report could not agree on where the virus originated.
According to a White House fact sheet from Jan. 15, 2021, "starting in at least 2016 – and with no indication of a stop prior to the COVID-19 outbreak – WIV researchers conducted experiments involving RaTG13, the bat coronavirus identified by the WIV in January 2020 as its closest sample to SARS-CoV-2 (96.2% similar). The WIV became a focal point for international coronavirus research after the 2003 SARS outbreak."
But, according to the ODNI report, intelligence agencies "will be unable to provide a more definitive explanation for the origin of COVID-19 unless new information allows them to determine the specific pathway for initial natural contact with an animal or to determine that a laboratory in Wuhan was handling SARS-CoV-2 or a close progenitor virus before COVID-19 emerged."
President Joe Biden on Friday released a statement after he received his classified version of the report.
"Critical information about the origins of this pandemic exists in the People’s Republic of China," Biden stated. "Yet from the beginning, government officials in China have worked to prevent international investigators and members of the global public health community from accessing it. To this day, the PRC continues to reject calls for transparency and withhold information."
Only recently, China has been flipping the script, naming the United States as the location for the virus's origins.
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