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US report says the origins of Covid-19 may never be known

Neill Fronde

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PHOTO: Wuhan Institute of Virology in China - the origins of Covid-19 may never be known. (via Wikimedia)
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Without cooperation from China, the origins of the Covid-19 virus may never be known, according to a more detailed version of a report released by US intelligence agencies. A report declassified on Friday said no definitive assessment can be made and some scientists disagree on whether the virus is of natural origin or came from some sort of lab leak.

“China’s cooperation most likely would be needed to reach a conclusive assessment of the origins of Covid-19. Beijing, however, continues to hinder the global investigation, resist sharing information, and blame other countries, including the United States.”

The report did condemn the idea of Covid-19 being created as a biological weapon saying those who proliferate that idea are ill-informed and spreading disinformation.

China has criticized the report that was originally compiled in August with less detail as political factions debated placing blame on China or responsibility on slow government responses to the pandemic for its global proliferation. (Former president Trump and his supporters famously deflected regarding Covid-19 by calling it the “China virus”.) The Chinese Embassy says that the report undermines science-based origin studies, relying on intelligence agencies instead of scientists.

Some intelligence agencies say there is lacking evidence that the Covid-19 virus originated in animals and moved naturally to humans and believe that it is likely that a human handling an infected animal in the Wuhan Institute of Virology is the source of the initial jump to human infections.

But they were clear that these are only theories and a definitive answer may never be known, especially with China failing to offer full cooperation in the investigations. Key questions remain about what animals were present in Wuhan markets, details of the earliest Covid-19 cases, and hospital occupancy rates in China.

China claims they have supported scientific investigations, but not political-based inquiries. They feel a more globally involved investigation should be done and expressed fears that current investigations are seeking to put political pressure on China.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10 years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.

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