COVID-19 virus origins: US intelligence community says it was 'not developed' as biological weapon

WION Web Team
Washington Published: Aug 28, 2021, 07:48 AM(IST)

Coronavirus in the United States (representative image). Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

In a report, the US intelligence community has said, SARS-CoV-2, the virus, which causes COVID-19, was 'not developed' as a biological weapon. The development comes even as US President Joe Biden has been reiterating the allegation that China continues to reject calls for transparency and withholds information about the origins of the virus

In a report, the US intelligence community has said, SARS-CoV-2, the virus, which causes COVID-19, was 'not developed' as a biological weapon.

The development comes even as US President Joe Biden has been reiterating the allegation that China continues to reject calls for transparency and withholds information about the origins of the virus.

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Prepared by the Director of National Intelligence at the direction of the president, the report on Friday said "SARS-CoV-2 probably emerged and infected humans through an initial small-scale exposure that occurred no later than November 2019 with the first known cluster of COVID-19 cases arising in Wuhan, China in December 2019."

Meanwhile, according to the results released on Friday, US intelligence agencies remain divided on the origins of the coronavirus but believe China's leaders did not know about the virus before the start of the pandemic.

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Four members of the US intelligence community say with low confidence that the virus was initially transmitted from an animal to a human, as per the unclassified summary. A fifth intelligence agency believes with moderate confidence that the first human infection was linked to a lab. 

China's refusal to fully cooperate with the US and other international investigations of the virus has hampered reviews of the virus' origins. On Friday, the Director of National Intelligence, said, "China continues to hinder the global investigation, resist sharing information and blame other countries including the United States."

(With inputs from agencies)

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