US Intelligence Community says COVID-19 was not man-made or bio-engineered

COVID-19 ChinaIn a rare public statement, the Intelligence Community of the United States has said that the novel coronavirus “was not manmade or genetically modified”. The statement was issued on Thursday by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, which manages the US National Intelligence Program and whose director serves as the country’s most senior intelligence officer.

The brief statement was posted on the ODNI’s website and represents the view of all 17 government agencies that make up the US Intelligence Community. It states that the novel coronavirus “originated in China”, thus agreeing with the vast majority of public health experts about the origins of the disease. It goes on to state that “[t]he Intelligence Community […] concurs with the wide scientific consensus that the COVID-19 virus was not manmade or genetically modified”.

However, the statement does not rule out the possibility that the virus could have its roots in a scientific facility in China, and that it might have escaped “through contact with infected animals” or as “the result of an accident at a laboratory”. It goes on to state that the Intelligence Community “will continue to rigorously examine emerging information and intelligence to determine” if there exists a laboratory connection to the virus.

Earlier this month, US Army General Mark Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told members of the media that “the weight of evidence” seemed to indicate that COVID-19’s origins were “natural”. However, according to reports, American and other Western spy agencies are “still weighing the possibility” that the virus may have escaped from a government laboratory in Wuhan.

Author: Joseph Fitsanakis | Date: 01 May 2020 | Permalink

7 Responses to US Intelligence Community says COVID-19 was not man-made or bio-engineered

  1. Peter Parkinson says:

    Either it existed before or self mutated and was pasted by humans, some reports it was past by animals to humans, maybe dogs eaten in China. We need more research into viruses. Viruses may oneday take over the world if humans cannot stop them or be protected from them. Are humans going to protect themself an live in biospheres in the future from viruses and pollution. The human races might disappear one day unless we change our ways. Might have live in a sphere or underground

  2. Nicholas Dujmovic says:

    As a former CIA analyst and analytic manager, I think there’s an important nuance left out here.

    When you say in your title and first sentence that the IC “says the [virus] was not manmade or engineered,” that gives the impression that the IC has come to that conclusion on its own and is independently qualified to do so.

    However, the statement from the DNI does not say what your title says and does not imply what one would infer from that. It says, “The Intelligence Community . . . concurs with the wide scientific consensus that the COVID-19 virus was not manmade or genetically modified.”

    “The IC says” versus “the IC concurs with” the views of others, who are the experts. That’s a critical distinction.

  3. RCC says:

    As a former CIA analyst myself I find the comment by Dujmovic completely nonsensical. Dujmovic is surely aware that many of the scientific experts the DNI statement refers to work for the IC. So the scientific consensus referred to in the DNI statement is not necessarily produced outside of the IC. It seems to me that Dujmovic’s linguistic acrobatics reflect the views of someone who is desperate for the discovery of a “smoking gun” leading to China. Iraq WMD redux?

  4. robken says:

    Codswallop – Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire….

  5. Chukchi says:

    [Edited for violation of posting standards]

  6. robert kaiser says:

    Development of viruses as a possibility of weakening an opponent in peacetime

    The course and circulation of COVID 19 suggest at least a form of biological warfare in peacetime. This means that pathogens which are not identified as biological weapons may on short notice weaken economies but put in the medium term the country of production in a prominent position.

    http://www.auswaertiges-nfb.de

  7. Nicholas Dujmovic says:

    Anonymous RCC–in the day, good CIA analysts did not leap to ad hominem judgments, nor did they base a superlative assessment (“completely nonsensical”) on a thin logical reed (“not necessarily”). I’m guessing you didn’t last long.

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