In this Feb. 3 file photo, a security person moves journalists away from the Wuhan Institute of Virology after a World Health Organization team arrived for a field visit in Wuhan in China’s Hubei province.
/ May 26, 2021
The U.S. intelligence community relied on “outside” experts who without evidence insisted Covid-19 jumped from animals to humans and “suppressed dissenting views” on the origins of the virus, a report from Republicans on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence said.
The report concluded that “significant circumstantial evidence” shows the virus most likely escaped from China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology that has been engaged in research on viruses similar to covid.
Chinese military research at the facility also raises questions about whether the pandemic may be linked to what the GOP report said is “a documented biological weapons program” in China.
The panel Republicans also said there are concerns “the U.S. government directly or indirectly engaged in dangerous scientific research with China despite knowing of the Chinese military’s participation” in bioresearch, according to a report by security correspondent Bill Gertz for the Washington Times.
“Why is this important? This is about bioweapons. This is about biowarfare,” California Rep. Devin Nunes, the ranking Republican on the House, told Fox News in releasing the report last week.
Nunes invoked an intelligence community directive that analysis should be designed to prevent “bias, politicization or other issues” in reporting.
Suppression of intelligence among spy agency analysts was also disclosed during the closing days of the Trump administration. Then-DNI John Ratcliffe in January accused U.S. intelligence analysts of politicization for playing down China’s role in meddling in the Nov. 3 presidential election.
“From my unique vantage point as the individual who consumes all of the U.S. government’s most sensitive intelligence on the People’s Republic of China, I do not believe the majority view expressed by [intelligence community] analysts fully and accurately reflects the scope of the Chinese government’s efforts to influence the 2020 U.S. federal elections,” Ratcliffe stated in a Jan. 7 report.
Ratcliffe stated that “the politicization of China election influence reporting” resulted from “undue pressure being brought to bear on analysts who offered an alternative view based on the intelligence.”
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