One Year Ago — Intelligence Community Statement on Origins of COVID-19 [UPDATE — Wuhan Lab origin not ruled out by CIA & ODNI]

“The IC will continue to rigorously examine emerging information and intelligence to determine whether the outbreak began through contact with infected animals or if it was the result of an accident at a laboratory in Wuhan.”

Intelligence Community Statement on Origins of COVID-19 (April 30 2020)

Wuhan Institute of Virology

May 2 2020 — Rumors have been confirmed. US Intelligence agencies are investigating the origin of the COVID-19 pandemic. Follow us on Twitter: @INTEL_TODAY

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“From our perspective, we just don’t know where, when and how the coronavirus was transmitted initially.”

Avril Haines — Director of US intelligence

UPDATE (April 30 2021) — During a recent House committee hearing on global threats, Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines and CIA Director William Burns both stated that the “Wuhan lab leak” claim is still a legitimate theory that they are investigating.

Both CIA and ODNI disagree with a recent report from the World Health Organization (WHO), which asserts that the lab leak hypothesis is “extremely unlikely”.

“From our perspective, we just don’t know where, when and how the coronavirus was transmitted initially. We have two plausible theories that we’re working on,” Haines said.

“One of them is that it was a laboratory accident. And the other is that it emerged naturally from human contact with infected animals.”

“We do not make the assessment that the WHO report made — that it is ‘extremely unlikely’… that is not our assessment,” Haines concluded.

The CIA Director confirmed that the “Lab leak” has not been ruled out by the Agency.

“I think at this point, as Director Haines said, this is something that we’re still analyzing, with the benefit of all of the various sources that the intelligence community can bring to bear,” Burns said.

“We are weighing both of the options that Director Haines described.”

Robert Redfield, former director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, recently said that he believes the “most likely etiology” was “from a laboratory.” 

Vice Chairman Rubio Questions Members of the Intelligence Community at Worldwide Threats Hearing

Vice Chairman Rubio: “So about a year and a half ago, a bat virus…transferred to something that infected human beings. I don’t need to tell everybody what’s happened since then. The official answer for why it’s happened — and it is a possible answer — is that this was a new zoonotic transmission, it crossed over from an animal into a human.  But there’s another hypothesis which is plausible. And that is that there was an accident at a laboratory that ended up impacting the world the way we’ve seen. 

“And there’s reason to believe that’s plausible. Number one, researchers at the Wuhan Institute of Virology have demonstrated from their publication record that they were skilled at techniques in which they genetically modified bat coronaviruses in order to create new man made viruses that were highly capable of creating disease in human beings. 

“Second, there have been several lab leaks documented that have occurred in China, including one involving the original SARS virus. 

“And third, U.S. diplomats who visited the Wuhan Institute of Virology in 2019 warned of the risk of the subpar safety standards that they observed. 

“I think it’s really a two-part question…We can’t conclude definitively that the virus that causes COVID-19 emerged naturally until there’s a transmission chain [that identifies] how the virus evolved and transmitted between species. And to date, no such path of zoonotic transmission has been definitively identified. Is that — are those two things accurate?”

Quick Analysis

I think that we can draw a few preliminary conclusions at this point.

First, the report from the World Health Organization (WHO) has ZERO credibility and I do not think that there will be one serious scientist to trust its assessment. Even the WHO General-Director — Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus — had to intervene and contradict its main conclusion.

“Although the team has concluded that a laboratory leak is the least likely hypothesis, this requires further investigation, potentially with additional missions involving specialist experts, which I am ready to deploy,” Tedros said.

“The team also visited several laboratories in Wuhan and considered the possibility that the virus entered the human population as a result of a laboratory incident,” he said. “

However, I do not believe that this assessment was extensive enough. … Further data and studies will be needed to reach more robust conclusions.”

Second, it is also very clear that former US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was lying — or at least exaggerating — when he said (May 3 2020) there is “enormous evidence” that the corona-virus pandemic originated in a laboratory in the Chinese city of Wuhan.

“I can tell you that there is a significant amount of evidence that this [Corona-virus pandemic]  came from that laboratory in Wuhan.”

Third, the US IC appears to conduct a fair and sound investigation regarding the origin of the pandemic. Let’s see where it goes…

END of UPDATE

“…The one thing that’s clear to us and to our analysts is that the Chinese leadership has not been fully forthcoming or fully transparent in working with the WHO or in providing the kind of original, complete data that would help answer those questions. So we’re doing everything we can using all the sources available to all of us on this panel to try to get to the bottom of it.” — CIA Director William Burn

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

ODNI News Release No. 11-20

April 30, 2020

Intelligence Community Statement on Origins of COVID-19

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Office of the Director of National Intelligence today issued the following Intelligence Community (IC) statement:

“The entire Intelligence Community has been consistently providing critical support to U.S. policymakers and those responding to the COVID-19 virus, which originated in China.

The Intelligence Community also concurs with the wide scientific consensus that the COVID-19 virus was not man-made or genetically modified.

As we do in all crises, the Community’s experts respond by surging resources and producing critical intelligence on issues vital to U.S. national security.

The IC will continue to rigorously examine emerging information and intelligence to determine whether the outbreak began through contact with infected animals or if it was the result of an accident at a laboratory in Wuhan.”

Intel Today would like to know what you think. Do you believe that the COVID-19 pandemic is the result of an accident at the Wuhan laboratory?

– – –

“China is hiding a lot. Since the outbreak began, China has flooded the scientific literature with subtle and sometimes not so subtle messages supporting its narrative that COVID-19 is a naturally-occurring mutation that ‘jumped’ from animals to humans in the Wuhan Seafood Market. That argument has been buttressed by a relatively small group of Western scientists, who may have a vested interest in one particular outcome and wish to limit the debate.”

Retired US Army Col Dr. Lawrence Sellin (May 1st 2020)

PS — I am not yet convinced that COVID-19 virus was not man-made or genetically modified.

Actually, some ‘scientific’ statements reported to support that conclusion are clearly untrue. (More about this later.) For now, I believe that Dr Sellin is correct to be cautious.

Unless the US intelligence community can explain the origin of the PRRAR amino acid structure, unique to COVID-19 and not present in any of the identified close relatives like RaTG13, a structure related to a “gain of function” leading to enhanced transmissibility, there is no reason at this stage to dismiss prematurely a bioengineering explanation for the origin of COVID-19.

The US intelligence community statement brought us no closer to the truth and may have unnecessarily handed China a huge propaganda victory, while simultaneously making it less likely that Beijing will be inclined to open its research records for international inspection.

REFERENCES

Intelligence Community Statement on Origins of COVID-19 — ODNI News Release No. 11-20 (April 30, 2020)

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ODNI — Intelligence Community Statement on Origins of COVID-19 [POLL]

One Year Ago — Intelligence Community Statement on Origins of COVID-19 [UPDATE — Wuhan Lab origin not ruled out by CIA & ODNI]

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