Intel Agencies Say Covid-19 Not A Bioweapon – But Don’t Rule Out Lab Leak Theory – In Probe

According to an unclassified summary of the investigation released Friday by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the U.S. intelligence agency made several conclusions, with varying degrees of certainty, about the origins of Covid-19 during a 90-day review that President Joe Biden ordered.

Avril Haines, the US Director of National Intelligence, testifies at a Senate Armed... [+] Services Committee hearing on worldwide threats on April 29, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo taken by Graeme Jennings / PoOL / AFP). (Photo by GRAEME JENNINGS/POOL/AFP through Getty Images) POOL/AFP via Getty Images

The Key Facts

According to the summary, the 18 U.S. intelligence agencies concluded that the virus was not discovered until November 2019 and had not been developed as a biological weapons agent. Chinese officials were also unaware of it prior to the outbreak. The summary also says most of the agencies came to a low confidence assessment that the virus was probably not genetically engineered, but two agencies concluded there is not sufficient evidence to make an assessment either way. The agencies landed on two plausible hypotheses about the origins of the virus: that it came from natural exposure to an infected animal, or that it resulted from a laboratory-associated incident. The intelligence community determined it will be unable to provide a more definitive explanation without greater cooperation from China, which, the summary said, continues to hinder the global investigation by refusing to share information. Biden stated that his administration would do everything possible to track down the source of the outbreak and press the Chinese government for access to any relevant evidence.

Important Background

Biden requested a 90-day investigation into the origins and spread of coronavirus in May. This was apparently a shift from the Trump-ordered investigation that focused on whether or not China's biological weapons program played any role in the creation of the virus. Representative Clay Higgins (R.La.), was one of several Republicans who participated in the congressional investigation. and Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark. They believe coronavirus was created as a bioweapon.

Big Number

46%. This is the percentage of Americans who responded to a Morning Consult poll of 2200 adults in the United States that said coronavirus was a result of a leak at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, China. Only 26% of respondents said that they believed the virus originated naturally. 28% stated they don't know or have no opinion.


Ex-President Donald Trump and ex-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo were vocal supporters of the theory of lab leaks, both making public statements supporting it last year.

Important Quote

Biden stated in his statement that he will do all he can to find the root cause of the outbreak that has caused so many deaths and pains around the globe.