China criticised for withholding information about Covid19 origin
President Joe Biden said that China was withholding “critical information” on the origins of Covid-19 after the US intelligence community said it did not believe the virus was a bioweapon but remained split on whether it escaped from a lab.
The United States, however, does not believe Chinese officials had foreknowledge of the virus before the initial outbreak of the pandemic that has now claimed 4.5 million lives, according to an unclassified summary of an eagerly awaited intelligence report. US intelligence has ruled out that the coronavirus was developed as a weapon, and most agencies assess with “low confidence” it was not genetically engineered.
Four components of the intelligence community said with low confidence that the outbreak was likely linked to exposure to an infected animal, according to the U.S. summary. This theory is the most widely supported by scientists, including Anthony Fauci, who is advising Biden on Covid.
The intelligence community overall believes that the virus infected humans through an initial small exposure no later than November of 2019, according to the report. The report says the intelligence agencies judge that the virus was not developed as a biological weapon, and most assess with low confidence that it was not genetically engineered, though two agencies believe there isn’t enough evidence to know either way.
Earlier this week, the WHO panel warned that it would soon be “biologically impossible” to gather evidence dating back to the virus’ origin. “The window of opportunity for conducting this crucial inquiry is closing fast,” they warned, calling on researchers and governments to expedite studies