Origin of COVID may have been linked to China’s bioweapons program: GOP report

FIRST ON FOX: Republican members of the House Intelligence Committee claim in a newly released report that there is “evidence” that COVID-19 has been linked to China’s biological weapons research program and “spilled over” to the general human population during an incident at the Wuhan Institute could of virology.

The information was released Wednesday night in a minority report by members of the House Standing Intelligence Committee.

“Contrary to the assumption of [Intelligence Community’s] declassified report, based on our investigation, which includes a wealth of public and non-public information, we conclude that there is evidence that SARS-CoV-2 may have been linked to China’s biological weapons research program and during a Laboratory-to-human population-related incident at the Wuhan Institute of Virology,” read a summary of the report. “The IC did not adequately address this information in its classified updated assessment. When we tried to address the issues with the IC, it didn’t respond.”

In a declassified October 2021 assessment of the origins of COVID-19 by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the report said SARS-CoV-2 was “likely not a biological weapon,” adding, “We remain skeptical.” against allegations that SARS-CoV-2 was a biological weapon because they are supported by scientifically invalid claims.”

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Members of the World Health Organization team tasked with investigating the origins of the coronavirus disease are seen.

Members of the World Health Organization team tasked with investigating the origins of the coronavirus disease are seen.
(Reuters/Thomas Peter)

The report released by House Republicans on Wednesday also claims that its investigation “uncovered serious flaws in both the classified and declassified versions of the intelligence community,” stating that the omissions “probably undermine the public’s understanding of key issues.” distorted and deepened mistrust”.

“The committee believes that the IC has downplayed important information about the possible links between COVID-19 and China’s bioweapons research, based in part on input from outside experts,” the report said, adding that the intelligence agencies “did not refusing to be transparent to the committee as to which experts she relied on.”

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A security guard takes journalists away from the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

A security guard takes journalists away from the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
(AP Photo/Ng Han Guan, File)

While claiming that the origins of COVID are likely linked to China’s biological weapons research program, the report states, “We have seen no credible evidence that the virus was released intentionally rather than accidentally.”

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Security personnel gather near the entrance of the Wuhan Institute of Virology during a visit by the World Health Organization team in Wuhan, east China's Hubei province, February 3, 2021.

Security personnel gather near the entrance of the Wuhan Institute of Virology during a visit by the World Health Organization team in Wuhan, east China’s Hubei province, February 3, 2021.
(AP)

“Nor are we claiming that the information we have found is a smoking gun that will definitively and beyond any doubt resolve the question of the origins of COVID-19. However, the information is important in promoting public understanding and we will seek to release the non-disclosure version of our report at the next Congress to further the conversation,” the report said.

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