COVID-19: US intelligence rules out biological weapon origin

An unclassified summary of a report by the Intelligence Community was published last week.

It reveals that one element of the community assesses with “moderate confidence” that the first infection “most likely was the result of a laboratory-associated incident, probably involving experimentation, animal handling, or sampling by the Wuhan Institute of Virology.”

However, the report shows that due to a lack of clinical and epidemiological data on the first cases of COVID-19, U.S. intelligence agencies remain divided about the origins of the virus.

According to the summary, the National Intelligence Council and four elements of the Intelligence Community assessed with “low confidence” that the first infection resulted from natural exposure to an animal with the virus.

The report is clear on one point, though: that SARS-CoV-2 was not developed as a biological weapon.

Most of the agencies believe with “low confidence” that the virus was also not the result of genetic engineering. However, two agencies judge that there is insufficient evidence either way.