Declassified portions of a report presented to President Biden revealed divisions among federal agencies over whether the virus came from a lab leak or natural processes.
By Julian E. Barnes
WASHINGTON — American intelligence agencies have not been able to determine if the coronavirus pandemic was the result of an accidental leak from a lab or if it emerged more naturally, according to declassified portions of a report to the White House released on Friday.
The nation’s spy agencies, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence said, are unlikely to reach a conclusion without more cooperation from China or new source of information.
In a statement, President Biden said the United States would continue working to understand the origins of the virus and he called on China to be more transparent about what led to the virus emerging there in late 2019 before spreading rapidly across the globe.
“We will do everything we can to trace the roots of this outbreak that has caused so much pain and death around the world, so that we can take every necessary precaution to prevent it from happening again,” Mr. Biden said. “Critical information about the origins of this pandemic exists in the People’s Republic of China, yet from the beginning, government officials in China have worked to prevent international investigators and members of the global public health community from accessing it.”
As debates about the origins of the pandemic and China’s role intensified, Mr. Biden ordered the nation’s intelligence agencies three months ago to draft a report on the source of the virus.
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