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Current Affairs

US assessment on Covid-19 origin

Date: 01 September 2021 Tags: Disaster & Disaster Management

Issue

A summary of the assessment carried out by Director of National Intelligence on the origins of Covid-19 has been released.

 

Background

US President Biden had asked the intelligence community to look deeper into the origin of the virus after many reports on conspiracies emerged.

 

Details

  • The investigations were carried out by several intelligence agencies. These agencies have been divided over reason for the origin.

  • The assessment clearly says that the virus was not developed as a biological weapon by Chinese authorities. It may not have been genetically engineered.

  • Agencies also say that Chinese officials did not have prior knowledge of the origin of the virus before the initial outbreak in the year 2019.

  • One of the intelligence agencies says that the initial outbreak may have been a result of a laboratory-associated incident.

 

Roadblocks

Agencies point out that China continues to hamper the process of free investigation. There is lack of cooperation from official sources.

 

Previous studies

  • A WHO team had visited China to find out the origin of the virus. The outcomes were inconclusive, that had invited global criticism.

  • The team had categorically emphasized that the origin of virus in a lab was highly unlikely and may have most probably been an incident.

  • Scientists say that if origins are to be known, such enquiries need to be made sooner else the evidence may disappear with time.

 

China’s stance

  • China has been on defensive position. Diplomats and officials have criticized countries demanding investigation.

  • The Chinese media has gone to an extent and say that the virus was imported into the country from outside through food packaging.