US espionage officials said Wednesday that they were convinced that the Chinese government lacked transparency on the matter, but intelligence agencies still do not know how the coronavirus first spread to the population.
“The intelligence community does not know exactly where, when and how the COVID-19 virus was first transmitted,” said Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines at a hearing on global national security threats. I told the Senate Information Committee.
She was asked by Senator Marco Rubio, vice chairman of the Senate Committee, about the possible emergence of the virus from a leak at the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
According to Haynes, the intelligence committee focuses on two theories about the origin of the virus.
“These scenarios were either natural out of human contact with infected animals or were laboratory accidents,” Haynes said.
Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, William Burns, said the espionage agency is using all of its source features to “find the roots” in the story of the origin of the virus.
He added that the Chinese government has withheld information from the World Health Organization and other researchers that could reveal how the virus first infected humans.
“One of the obvious things for us and our analysts is that the Chinese leadership will work with WHO and provide the complete original data to help answer these questions. Was not completely positive or completely transparent, “Burns testified.
A team of scientists visited China in February as part of a WHO mission to investigate the origin of the coronavirus. Health agencies released a report last month stating that the virus was most likely to infect humans after jumping from an animal species. According to WHO, the least likely explanation was that the virus was caused by a leak at the Wuhan Institute.
WHO investigations have been closely monitored and critics say they are operating under the strict control of Chinese government officials.
In an interview with “60 Minutes,” Peter Daszak, the only American scientist on the WHO team, confirmed that Chinese Foreign Ministry officials had attended a meeting with scientists at the Wuhan Institute of Veterans Affairs.
National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said on February 13 that the Biden administration was “deeply concerned” that China was not providing raw data to the WHO team for investigation. ..
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