Sunday, June 26

US intelligence could not resolve the debate on the origins of Covid: declassified report | Biden Administration

The US intelligence community failed to resolve a heated debate within the Biden administration over whether an incident at a Chinese laboratory was the source of Covid-19, US officials said in a declassified summary on Friday.

The report, issued by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence in response to Joe Biden’s request, said that a satisfactory answer to the question of how a virus that has killed 4.6 million people worldwide began remains out of the question. scope.

According to Johns Hopkins University, more than 633,000 people have died in the US, out of a case number of more than 38 million.

U.S. authorities said Friday that 366,838,484 doses of Covid-19 vaccines had been administered and 437,567,285 had been distributed. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said 203,475,192 people had received at least one injection, while 172,646,952 people were fully vaccinated.

In a statement, Biden said: “There is critical information about the origins of this pandemic in the People’s Republic of China, but from the beginning, government officials in China have worked to prevent international investigators and community members from global public health access it. . “

He added: “The world deserves answers and I will not rest until we get them.”

Organizations within the US intelligence community disagreed on the origins of the new coronavirus.

Several thought it arose from “natural exposure to an animal infected with it or a nearby parent virus,” according to the abstract. But they had only “little confidence” in that conclusion. Other groups could not come to a firm opinion.

A segment of the intelligence community developed “moderate confidence” that the first human infection with Covid was likely due to an “incident associated with the laboratory, which likely involved experimentation, manipulation of animals or sampling by the Institute of Virology of Wuhan “.

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The report concluded that analysts could not provide “a more definitive explanation” without new information from China, such as clinical samples and epidemiological data on the first cases.

China has ridiculed the theory that Covid-19 escaped from the laboratory in Wuhan and promoted theories including that it escaped from a laboratory at Fort Detrick, Maryland, in 2019.

Biden said: “While this review has been completed, our efforts to understand the origins of this pandemic will not stop. We will do everything possible to trace the roots of this outbreak that has caused so much pain and death around the world, so that we can take all necessary precautions to prevent it from happening again. “

He added: “To this day, [China] it continues to reject calls for transparency and withhold information, even as the number of victims of this pandemic continues to rise. We needed this information quickly, from [China]while the pandemic was still new. “

Biden said his administration had “renewed US leadership in the World Health Organization and brought together allies and partners to renew focus on this critical issue.

“The world deserves answers, and I will not rest until we get them. Responsible nations do not shirk these kinds of responsibilities to the rest of the world. Pandemics do not respect international borders, and we all need to better understand how Covid-19 emerged to prevent new pandemics. “

The United States, Biden said, “will continue to push [China] adhere to scientific norms and standards, including the exchange of information and data from the early days of the pandemic, protocols related to biosecurity, and information on animal populations. We must have a complete and transparent accounting of this global tragedy. Nothing less is acceptable. “

The CDC count for U.S. Covid-19 vaccines included two-dose vaccines from Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech, as well as the single-shot vaccine from Johnson & Johnson.

About 732,000 people have received an additional dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine since Aug. 13, when the US authorized a third dose of the vaccines for people with compromised immune systems who are likely to have weaker protection from the two-dose regimens. dose.

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