According to a declassified dossier, US intelligence agencies have not discovered any concrete evidence that Covid-19 escaped from a Chinese laboratory. Both a natural origin and a laboratory origin are still conceivable theories, according to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI).
The majority of US intelligence services agreed. As was previously noted, that the virus was not genetically altered or “laboratory-adapted.”
The origins of the pandemic have been a matter of bitter debate in the US. China has strongly rejected the lab-leak theory.
In March, Congress passed a bill granting US intelligence 90 days to declassify what it knew about the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV), and they released the ODNI report on Friday night.
“The Central Intelligence Agency and another agency remain unable to determine the precise origin of the Covid-19 pandemic, as both (natural and lab) hypotheses rely on significant assumptions or face challenges with conflicting reporting,” said the 10-page report.
The findings said the US intelligence community still could not rule out the possibility that the virus came from a laboratory. It said that the WIV and Chinese army had collaborated in work on coronaviruses for public health needs, although not on any infections that could plausibly have spawned Covid-19.
But the report also noted that scientists at the WIV have engineered “chimeras”, or combinations of coronaviruses, and used reverse genetic cloning techniques that could hide intentional changes.
The findings said that some researchers probably did not use adequate biosafety precautions before the pandemic. However, US intelligence is not aware of a specific biosafety incident at the Wuhan lab that caused a Covid-19 outbreak, according to the report.