When U.S. President Joe Biden ordered last week U.S. Intelligence In order to step up efforts to determine the origin of Covid-19, he gave new life to the theory that the virus may have leaked from the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
Biden said that the U.S. intelligence service “integrated around two situations”-the virus either appeared naturally or was the result of a laboratory accident.
This is the first time the president believed in the possibility of a virus leaking from the laboratory — when Donald Trump first made this statement, this view was widely criticized as a conspiracy theory.
Current and former officials have stated that the Biden administration is willing to openly accept theories criticized by the Democratic Party for several reasons.
A key factor is that critics are now more open to theories of laboratory leaks because Trump, who was seen as trying to discredit China in order to deflect accusations of his handling of the pandemic, has stepped down.
They also said that Biden is responding to the discovery of intelligence. He is now facing political pressure to find answers.
“The Biden administration has now studied a wealth of disturbing evidence that we encountered in the last few months of the Trump administration,” said David Asher, who led the State Department’s investigation of the origins of Covid. “It’s jaw-dropping. As they pointed out, more needs to be evaluated.”
A few days before Biden was sworn in, the State Council issued a fact sheet on the Wuhan Institute, which stated that several researchers had developed Covid-like symptoms before the first public case appeared. It also said that the institute had secretly cooperated with the Chinese military.
Because Secretary of State Mike Pompeo tends to politicize intelligence, critics have not taken this claim seriously. People are also concerned about the aftermath of the riots and inauguration on January 6.
“We don’t think the fact sheet will immediately make headlines. We hope to record this information so that people can recognize these facts when tensions and heat fall,” said David Faith, a former State Department official who participated in this release. (David Feith) said.
In March of this year, Asher publicly stated that some Wuhan workers were very sick and needed hospital treatment. This and the Wall Street Journal’s recent report on the hospitalization of three employees helped to focus attention on the theory of laboratory leaks.
But a person familiar with the debate said that the driving factor was the transformation of scientists who were cautious about helping Trump before the election or angered influential scientists who refuted the theory. He said this helps make Democrats more willing to consider this theory.
“The most important thing that has happened is that the famous virologist has spoken out,” he said.
In a letter to the organization science In the magazine, a team of 18 famous scientists stated that both theories are “feasible” and should be taken “seriously” until sufficient data are obtained. They said that the World Health Organization’s recent survey of China did not balance these two situations.
“Even those of us who are dealing with this issue within the government don’t know how many scientific opinions are on our side, because scientists usually don’t speak out, but in the past few months, certain dams have been resolved. Damn it,” Feith said, referring to developments including this letter and the WHO investigation.
Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, also seems to have changed his position. Last year, he said that science “strongly shows” that the virus is naturally occurring, but he recently stated that he “does not believe” and supports investigations.
Although Biden only outlined the views of the intelligence community in his extremely unusual statement, he is willing to make their preliminary conclusions public and draw more attention to the laboratory leak theory.
Mathew Burrows, a former senior intelligence officer, said he did not remember a president who made such a statement. He said that they have historically not wanted to be seen as trying to force a conclusion.
“Obviously there are Republicans trying to criticize anything that seems to be a weak response to China, so I think Biden wants to show that he will not shy away from making accusations against them. [China] If the intelligence community agrees on the fact that the virus came from the Wuhan laboratory,” Burrows said.
Republican Congressman Mike Gallagher (Mike Gallagher) introduced a bill to declassify all intelligence related to the investigation. He also stated that Biden appeared to be responding to political pressure, especially when his team members called for China. After allowing transparent investigations-this is rare. Experts believe that Beijing will allow it.
“Biden felt the pressure,” Gallagher said. “They felt a bit counterattack… but it was a good move.”
A person familiar with the matter said that the National Intelligence Council, which is responsible for collating information for the entire intelligence community, compiled two reports last year to assess US intelligence on the origin of the new coronavirus. The Director of National Intelligence declined to comment.
These efforts, coupled with the third “clean-up” of intelligence this year, have resulted in Biden It was said last week that two of the 18 branches of the intelligence community tended toward the hypothesis of natural origin, while the third tended more toward the laboratory leak theory.
Biden said that the trio had “low or moderate confidence” in their conclusions, and there was not enough evidence in other branches. This raises concerns that 90 days are not enough for intelligence officials to make any firm decisions.
Paul Pillar, a former senior official of the CIA, said: “The entire community is far from reaching any conclusions that we can call halfway.” “In fact, even if it is a’low confidence’ judgment, many relevant agencies There is no consensus, which tells you that they have a long way to go before reaching any conclusions.”
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