The US intelligence community concluded in a report that the SARS-CoV2 virus responsible for COVID-19 was ‘not developed’ as a biological weapon. At the same time, President Joe Biden reiterated the charge that China is suppressing information about the origin of the virus and rejecting appeals for transparency.
The Director of National Intelligence, in a report prepared on the instructions of the President, said on Friday that SARS-CoV-2 was initially spread on a small scale around November 2019 and the first cases of infection were reported in Wuhan in December 2019. However, there was no consensus among the intelligence community on the origin of the corona virus.
The report said, ‘This virus was not developed as a biological weapon. Most agencies also estimate that SARS-CoV-2 is not genetically originated, although two agencies believe that there is not enough evidence to confirm this assessment. The intelligence community also believes that Chinese officials had no prior knowledge about the Kovid-19 infection before it spread.
It said, ‘After assessing all available intelligence and other information, the intelligence community is still divided about the origin of Kovid-19. All agencies assess that two things can happen: transmission of infection from an infected animal and transmission of infection from a laboratory incident.’
Some in the intelligence community assess that the case of infection with SARS-CoV-2 may have been the result of a laboratory incident involving experiments, animal care, or sampling by the Wuhan Virology Institute. Meanwhile, giving information about receiving the report, Biden said in a statement that his administration will do everything possible to get to the root of this infection so that all necessary precautions can be taken to prevent it from happening again in the future.
He said that important information about the origin of this epidemic is in China but ‘from the beginning to the present, government officials in China have worked to prevent international investigators and members of the global public health community from tracing it.’
Biden alleged that so far China has been rejecting appeals for transparency and withholding information while the death toll from the epidemic continues to rise.
The US President said, ‘The world should get an answer and I will not sit still until I get an answer. Responsible countries do not shirk such responsibilities towards the rest of the world. Epidemics don’t care about international borders and we have to understand how COVID-19 came to prevent more pandemics.
He said the US will continue to work with all partners around the world to pressure China to fully share information and cooperate with the World Health Organization to trace the origins of Kovid-19.
Biden said that the US will continue to pressure China to adhere to scientific rules and standards and protocols related to biosafety, including sharing data and information from the early days of the epidemic. He said, ‘We have full and transparent accountability for this global tragedy. Anything less than this is not acceptable.