Intelligence probe of COVID-19 origins unlikely to end with high-confidence result: officials

(Xinhua) 10:06, August 11, 2021

NEW YORK, Aug. 10 (Xinhua) -- A 90-day intelligence review into the origins of COVID-19 ordered by U.S. President Joe Biden is expected to end largely where it began, without high confidence in how the coronavirus first emerged, U.S. news portal The Olympian reported on Tuesday.

When the review began, intelligence agencies did not expect it to end with a "high confidence assessment" -- a term that spy agencies use to describe their level of confidence in the analysis. For example, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) had "judged with high confidence" in an October 2002 assessment that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction prior to the unpopular U.S.-led Iraq war.

Regarding this upcoming assessment, just weeks away from the president's deadline, that view has not changed, several government officials were quoted as saying on condition of anonymity.

The 17 intelligence agencies conducting the review, coordinated by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, are unlikely to come to dramatically different conclusions than they had in May, they said. 

(Web editor: Xia Peiyao, Liang Jun)


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