U.S. spies 'cover their actions' with inconclusive report on COVID-19
First Voice

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It took 90 days for the U.S. intelligence community (IC) to determine whether COVID-19 originated from animals or a lab leak.

On the one hand is a theory backed by concrete evidence in a number of prestigious journals and a global team of world health experts put together by the World Health Organization (WHO). On the other hand is a theory without a scrap of concrete corroborating evidence, in scientific journals or elsewhere, but which is politically convenient for the boss, the president.

This puzzle would be difficult for any government official. U.S. intelligence officials solved this dilemma in the time-honored way of bureaucrats everywhere – CYA, sometimes known as "cover your actions." By concluding that both the lab leak theory and the animal origin theory were both valid, the intelligence community gave political cover to their boss. And, the U.S. can continue blaming China for the pandemic in order to cover up its disastrous reaction to COVID-19.

For Washington, satisfying domestic political needs is the priority. When COVID-19 cases surged across the country as a result of the government's poor responses, the Trump administration, with no evidence, fabricated and pushed the lab leak theory, trying to divert the public's anger from governmental failures to China. When the Delta variant goes coast-to-coast due to lax restrictive measures, the Biden administration ordered the IC to "redouble their efforts" to find the origins of the virus and then blamed China for blocking crucial data on the virus.

A peer-reviewed paper in the prestigious journal Cell goes over in detail all the scientific reasons why the lab leak theory is unlikely and all evidence points to an animal source for COVID-19.

But truth doesn't matter. It can be twisted anytime for politics. This is the No. 1 rule to become a "qualified" IC member in the United States. Still remember the George W. Bush administration's "washing powder" lie that triggered U.S. invasion into Iraq in 2003, and White Helmets' staged "chemical weapons attack" footage that prompted the Trump administration's missile strikes on Syria?

And the IC is also behind the war against Vietnam. Robert Hanyok, a former historian with the National Security Agency (NSA), revealed in an internal publication that the IC falsely indicated that Vietnamese ships had attacked American destroyers on August 4, 1964, by "deliberately" skewing the evidence passed on to Washington. This contributed to the U.S.'s direct involvement in the Vietnam War, according to The New York Times.

A COVID-19 patient arrives outside Maimonides Medical Center, New York, U.S., November 17, 2020. /Reuters

A COVID-19 patient arrives outside Maimonides Medical Center, New York, U.S., November 17, 2020. /Reuters

It seems like American politicians think they can use the same trick over and over again without the rest of the world catching on. It's thus not surprising that facts could be twisted to support the lab leak theory for American politicians to shirk their responsibilities for the lives lost in the pandemic.

Again, Washington doesn't care about science. After all, scientific evidence on COVID-19 suggests the contrary to what American politicians expect.

"Wuhan virus" is a political farce that should have ended long before. Politicizing COVID-19 origins tracing is at the sacrifice of the global fight against the virus, and this could cost tens of thousands of innocent lives. The issue should be brought back to scientists, not politicians. But American politicians apparently care more about how to manipulate this scientific issue for maximum political gains.

You can never wake someone who pretends to sleep. Even though the IC concludes they don't know how the virus developed, it doesn't mean Washington's attempt to scapegoat Beijing would end.

It's thus time for the international community to act against Washington's political game for the sake of the global good. China supports COVID-19 origins tracing in multiple countries. It has been sharing data on the virus since the very beginning, and working in an open and transparent manner with the WHO during the whole process.

Now, isn't it time for Washington to invite the WHO to probe Fort Detrick? The U.S. has been shying away from origins-tracing on its soil. But a study on a vaping-related lung disease outbreak in Wisconsin in July 2019, and coronavirus research by Fort Detrick and the University of North Carolina may prove to be important in the global understanding of COVID-19.

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