U.S. intelligence agencies in a rare public statement Thursday said they agreed with “the widespread scientific consensus” that the COVID-19 virus was “not manmade or genetically modified” but also that they are investigating whether it emerged from a laboratory in Wuhan, China.
“The entire Intelligence Community has been consistently providing critical support to U.S. policymakers and those responding to the COVID-19 virus, which originated in China. The Intelligence Community also concurs with the wide scientific consensus that the COVID-19 virus was not manmade or genetically modified,” the statement from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence reads.
“As we do in all crises, the Community’s experts respond by surging resources and producing critical intelligence on issues vital to U.S. national security. The IC will continue to rigorously examine emerging information and intelligence to determine whether the outbreak began through contact with infected animals or if it was the result of an accident at a laboratory in Wuhan,” the statement concluded.
The idea that the virus might have emerged from a lab is widely disputed among scientists, who generally believe it jumped from animals to humans in some natural way involving farming, hunting or the transporting of wild animals.
But the theory is one that has been pushed hard by conservative allies of President Trump, who has focused on blaming China for the virus’s carnage in the United States…
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