Intelligence agencies divided over COVID-19 origin

(NewsNation) — America’s spy agencies are divided about the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

According to the highly-anticipated declassified COVID-19 origins report, the National Intelligence Council, and four other agencies believe COVID-19 “most likely was caused by natural exposure to an infected animal.”

Meanwhile, the Department of Energy and the FBI say a “laboratory-associated incident was the most likely cause.” The CIA says it remains “unable to determine the precise origin.”

According to the report’s executive summary, it outlines the U.S. Intelligence Community’s understanding of the Wuhan Institute of Virology, its capabilities, and the actions of its personnel leading up to and in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We don’t have enough evidence to definitively say it’s one or the other, but both of them are risks,” Former CDC Director Tom Frieden said during an appearance on NewsNation’s “The Hill.” “Whatever happened, we know we need to do a much better job protecting ourselves, and the world, from both lab leaks and natural spillover.”

Frieden noted that even before COVID-19, there were lab leaks with smallpox and likely with the flu.

“We can say with certainty that both lab leak and spillover are major risks for us. We need to get better, globally, at finding outbreaks quickly. Getting them reported the same day … and all essential control measures in place. We should be able to do each of those things regularly for every outbreak everywhere in the world,” Frieden added.


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