Thursday, September 29, 2022

US spy agencies hit dead end in Covid-19 origins probe

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US intelligence community has seemingly hit a dead-end in its quest to track the origins of the Covid-19 pandemic. The Office of the U.S. Director of National Intelligence(ODNI), which oversees 18 intelligence agencies of the nation, on Friday released a declassified report which is an update on the 90-day review released by the Biden administration in August. According to the report, both, a natural animal-to-human transmission and a lab leak, are plausible hypotheses on how the SARS-COV-2 broke the species barrier and infected humans. The report says that there is not enough information available to determine the source of the pandemic and that it can be that way till some new evidence comes to light.

The report also said that the intelligence community remains divided on the most likely origin of the virus. Four agencies assessed with “low confidence” it had originated with an infected animal or a related virus. However,  one agency said it had “moderate confidence” that the first human infection resulted from a lab accident in Wuhan Institute of Virology.

The report said that China is hindering global investigations into the origins of the pandemic. In July, WHO chief Dr. Tedros urged China to release raw data to aid the the agency’s investigation into the matter. The call drew sharp remarks from the Chinese vice health minister Zeng Yixin who said the plan showed “disrespect for common sense and arrogance towards science.”

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