Unclassified U.S. intelligence report released on origin of Covid-19

Washington D.C. (NBC)- An unclassified report from the United States intelligence community has been released on the origin of Covid-19.

The various intelligence communities all agree: the virus was not developed as a biological weapon. There is broad consensus it probably was not genetically engineered, and that Chinese officials did not have foreknowledge of the virus before the initial outbreak.

But they are split about whether it emerged naturally or from a lab accident.

One U.S. intelligence agency assesses with moderate confidence the virus first infected humans after a lab-associated incident, probably involving experimentation, animal handling, or sampling by the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

Four others assess with low confidence the virus emerged naturally. Three more say they are unable to coalesce around either explanation without additional information.

A full statement from President Joe Biden on the Investigation into the Origins of COVID-19 is below:

This week, I received the report on the 90-day sprint I asked our intelligence community to conduct into the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic. I am grateful for the thorough, careful, and objective work of our intelligence professionals, and while this review has concluded, our efforts to understand the origins of this pandemic will not rest. We will do everything we can to trace the roots of this outbreak that has caused so much pain and death around the world, so that we can take every necessary precaution to prevent it from happening again.

Critical information about the origins of this pandemic exists in the People’s Republic of China, 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, even as the toll of this pandemic continue to rise. We needed this information rapidly, from the PRC, while the pandemic was still new. Since taking office, my administration has renewed U.S. leadership in the World Health Organization and rallied allies and partners to renew focus on this critical question. The world deserves answers, and I will not rest until we get them. Responsible nations do not shirk these kinds of responsibilities to the rest of the world. Pandemics do not respect international borders, and we all must better understand how COVID-19 came to be in order to prevent further pandemics.

The United States will continue working with like-minded partners around the world to press the PRC to fully share information and to cooperate with the World Health Organization’s Phase II evidence-based, expert-led determination into the origins of COVID-19 – including by providing access to all relevant data and evidence. We will also continue to press the PRC to adhere to scientific norms and standards, including sharing information and data from the earliest days of the pandemic, protocols related to biosafety, and information from animal populations. We must have a full and transparent accounting of this global tragedy. Nothing less is acceptable.

Grace Smith is co-anchor for NBC5 News at 6. The Chicago native is a recent graduate of University of Miami with a Communication Honors degree specializing in Broadcast Journalism. She minored in Creative Writing and focused her senior thesis on social media usage and engagement. During her time at the University of Miami, she anchored multiple award-winning student television programs, covering everything from music festivals to the Super Bowl. Though she loved Miami's beaches, she's thrilled to be in the Pacific Northwest where she can experience all four seasons and have a real Christmas tree! When she’s not at work, you can find Grace glued to any television showing live sports (especially if it's the Chicago Bears) or attempting a new recipe as she learns to cook.
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