Thursday, June 29, 2023

Update: COVID-19 Origins

Environmental & Science Education, STEM, Health, Medicine, Science & Society 

Ed Hessler

I published a post, June 26, concerning which way the finger was pointing with respect to the origin of COVID-19: lab or the wet market in Wuhan?. It was based on reporting by three investigative journalists who concluded that the best evidence for the origin of the pandemic virus is the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV). 

The authors of the report said that in June the U. S. Intelligence Community would release a report on its conclusion, hinting, I thought, that it would come down on the side of the journalists. I should have waited a few days. The report from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence was released after being declassified on June 23 2023. 

There are variations in the analytic views on the origin(s) of the COVID-19 pandemic among the various members of the Intelligence Community (IC). The IC report notes that these "largely stem from differences in how agencies weigh intelligence reporting and scientific publications and intelligence and scientific gaps" (my underline). Below are the findings.

• The National Intelligence Council and four other IC agencies assess that the initial human infection with SARS-CoV-2 most likely was caused by natural exposure to an infected animal that carried SARS-CoV-2 or a close progenitor, a virus that probably would be more than 99 percent similar to SARSCoV-2. 

• The Department of Energy and the Federal Bureau of Investigation assess that a laboratory-associated incident was the most likely cause of the first human infection with SARS-CoV-2, although for different reasons. 

• The Central Intelligence Agency and another agency remain unable to determine the precise origin of the COVID-19 pandemic, as both hypotheses rely on significant assumptions or face challenges with conflicting reporting. 

• Almost all IC agencies assess that SARS-CoV-2 was not genetically engineered. Most agencies assess that SARS-CoV-2 was not laboratory-adapted; some are unable to make a determination. All IC agencies assess that SARS-CoV-2 was not developed as a biological weapon. 

There is a discussion of research and related activities performed at the WIV broken down into coronavirus research, genetic engineering capabilities, biosafety concerns at the WIV; WIV researchers who fell ill in Fall 2019; and appendix with definitions (very useful) - all in 9 generously spaced pages.

I provide a link to the Office of he Director of National Intelligence.

No comments:

Post a Comment