Coronavirus Not Created By Humans Or Genetically Modified, Says U.S. National Intelligence
Date: 2020-05-01 11:01:47
U.S. intelligence agencies don’t believe the Covid-19 coronavirus was created by humans or genetically modified in China, a controversial finding that comes as President Donald Trump increasingly tries to pin blame on Beijing for the global pandemic.
The intelligence community “concurs with the wide scientific consensus that the Covid-19 virus was not man made or genetically modified,” according to a statement from the DNI office on Thursday.
The statement goes on to say the nation’s intelligence community “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,” referring to the Chinese city where the virus was first reported.
The findings come as Trump ratchets up pressure on China over its pandemic response. He said he’s ordered an investigation into how the virus emerged as conspiracy theories — some promoted by key Trump supporters — circulate suggesting that it may have been created at a lab, or escaped from one, in Wuhan. The statement Thursday suggested that probe is already underway.
On Thursday, Trump said he hadn’t yet seen the statement released by his Director of National Intelligence. Trump said his administration continues to investigate the origin of the new virus and he said he’d have “a very good answer eventually.”
Asked by a reporter what gives Trump confidence that the Wuhan lab is responsible for the virus, the president responded, “I can’t tell you that. I’m not allowed to tell you that.”
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