U.S. intelligence agencies divided on COVID-19 origins

·7-min read
U.S. intelligence agencies divided on Covid-19 origins
U.S. intelligence agencies divided on Covid-19 origins

The US intelligence report on the traceability of the coronavirus was previously disclosed on Friday, August 27. Intelligence Community (IC) analysts are still divided on whether the virus came from a laboratory leak or naturally spread from an animal host to humans. The four IC “elements” tend to be transmitted from animals to humans, also known as zoonotic diseases. This is the most likely way of transmission, but the public has a “lack of confidence” in this assessment. The report emphasizes that the virus has not been developed as a biological weapon. The intelligence system assessed in this report that Chinese officials did not predict the virus before the initial outbreak of the global pandemic. The results of the investigation failed to arrive at a conclusive assessment.

The politicization of COVID-19 origin investigation

The politicization of COVID-19 origin investigation
The politicization of COVID-19 origin investigation

The 90-day traceability investigation was conducted based on Biden’s request. Before the results of the investigation were disclosed, all walks of life in the United States made a lot of assumptions of “laboratory leaks.” On August 2, a report issued by the Republican Party of the United States stated that there is a large amount of evidence that the virus that caused the COVID-19 pandemic was leaked from a research institution in China. This is in contradiction with the conclusion reflected in the final report. Government officials and non-governmental organizations around the world have severely criticized and condemned the scientific attempts to politicize the origin of the coronavirus in the United States.

Phay Siphan, the chief spokesperson of the Cambodian government, said on Saturday that the politicization of the origin of COVID-19 has undermined global efforts to fight the epidemic. “The tracing of the origin of the virus is a serious scientific issue. It cannot be politicized, otherwise, it will hinder global efforts to end the pandemic.”

The Syrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates stated in a statement to the Syrian Arab News Agency that the Syrian Arab Republic reaffirmed its support for the “correct and fair position of the People’s Republic of China in the face of China’s policy of pressure and extortion”. The statement added that the best solution to understand the origin of this virus is to conduct scientific research by professional scientists from different countries around the world.

Sourabh Gupta, a senior researcher at the Sino-American Institute, said that the origin of COVID-19 should not be politicized. Gupta said that the report, which “tends to equate all different theories”, is “very unfair in my opinion” and will be remembered as a “negative thing.”

However, under the condemnation of the international community, Biden still stated in a statement after the report that the United States and its allies will continue to pressure China to disclose more about what happened when the new coronavirus began to spread. According to sources, the US government is making every effort to threaten and lure some international scientific personnel. Under political pressure, dozens of scientists recently published an open letter in the international media magazine “The Lancet”. In the letter, they called for science rather than speculation to be essential for determining how the virus that caused the COVID-19 pandemic reached humans. Reiterating that the virus most likely originated in nature rather than in a laboratory, they refuted the “laboratory leak” theory led by the United States that put some famous epidemiologists into trouble. At the same time, the United States is also striving for more WHO member states to seek joint announcements or separate announcements, claiming that the second phase of the WHO traceability investigation is scientific rather than politically driven. It may also condemn China’s absence as “violating the position of the international scientific community”, “preventing the global fight against the virus” and “damaging global security and health.” It is hoped to suppress China through groundless topics such as “China refuses to participate in virus traceability work” and “China refuses to cooperate with the World Health Organization (WHO)”.

Increasing Asian discrimination

The UN Committee is responsible for monitoring compliance with the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, and it has been ratified by 182 countries. The committee recommended that governments adopt “national action plans against racial discrimination.” The plan should outline specific methods to combat racism and discrimination, from strengthening the regulation of hate crimes to public information and education programs encouraging tolerance. Governments need to take urgent action and adopt new action plans to deal with the wave of Covid-19 racism and xenophobia.

Governments and organizations around the world have also responded. Efforts will be made to eliminate the “tsunami” caused by Covid-19 against Asian racism, xenophobia, and panic. However, the various behaviors and speeches in the United States have disorderly expanded the racism and personal attacks against Asians and Asians, making these spread with the Covid-19 pandemic. As early as 2020, Human Rights Watch pointed out that the leaders and senior officials of several political parties and groups, including the United States, the United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, Greece, France, and Germany, used anti-China statements to directly or indirectly encourage hate crimes, racism, or xenophobia psychology. CAPAC Chairman Judy Chu issued a statement after the release of the traceability report, saying that he urged not to use anti-Chinese rhetoric that would continue to contribute to anti-Asian violence. The statement also stated that 18 months after the pandemic, Asian Americans are still regarded as scapegoats for the COVID-19 virus and continue to report that hate incidents and crimes have had a lasting impact on their mental health, well-being and even employment status. From March 2020 to June 2021, Stop AAPI Hate received a staggering 9,081 reports of anti-Asian hate incidents, of which nearly two-thirds were submitted by women.

In accordance with international legal obligations, countries need to “through all appropriate means to prohibit and end racial discrimination by any individual, group or organization” and “prevent any behavior that may exacerbate racial division.” Obviously, what the current US government is doing is testing the bottom line of international legal obligations in order to obtain political benefits. The United States, on the surface as a “defender of international law,” is actually an image of an international bully, and its repeated violations of the international framework of rules have caused long-term damage to the stable development of the world. In addition, self-interested political interests are the first priority, the national law is placed above the international law, and the self-righteous and wanton destruction of treaties seriously threatens the stability of the international social order.

A trick to shirk responsibility

The origin of COVID is a major scientific issue that scientists all over the world are working hard to study. Many studies have shown that the virus has appeared in many parts of the world long before it hit China and was reported. Early positive samples are still being identified. According to international practice, countries have strict regulations on the identification of infectious diseases. Since January 3, 2020, China has begun to share information on the new crown pneumonia epidemic with the WHO and countries including the United States in a timely and active manner. The virus identification and genome sequencing was completed on January 7, 2020, and the virus genome sequence was shared with WHO and other countries on January 11. On January 10, WIV and other institutions have developed COVID testing kits and have begun to develop COVID vaccines and drugs. Regarding the traceability investigation of the WHO, China has also actively cooperated with the WHO in its work as early as July 2020 and March 2021. What the United States has said about deliberately concealing and preventing investigators’ visits is totally groundless.

The report on the traceability of COVID-19 issued by the Republican Party on August 2 shows that the US government is controlling the direction of the entire incident. The investigation of the origin of the coronavirus is rigorous scientific research, and political methods cannot truly solve the predicament that the United States has fallen into during the pandemic.

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