The Wall Street Journal, which cited current and former US officials, said intelligence gathered by “an international partner” extended a State Department document confirming that WIV workers had fallen ill with symptoms “consistent with both with Covid-19 and a common seasonal illness ”. one month before the first confirmed case in China.
Officials were divided on the strength of the intelligence, one telling the Journal that it needed more corroboration and another saying it was “of exquisite quality” and “very accurate.”
The two agreed that the intelligence did not confirm the researchers had contracted coronavirus.
A spokeswoman for the National Security Council made no comment on the Journal report, but said the Biden administration continued to have “serious questions about the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic, including including its origins in the People’s Republic of China ”.
She said the US government was working with the World Health Organization (WHO) and other member states to support an expert assessment of the origins of the pandemic “without interference or politicization.”
“We are not going to make statements that prejudge an ongoing WHO study into the source of SARS-CoV-2, but we have made it clear that sound and technically credible theories should be carefully evaluated by experts. international, ”she said.
In May 2020, the former US president was asked at a White House event if he had seen evidence giving him a “high degree of confidence” that the virus originated from the Wuhan Institute of Virology. .
“Yes, yes,” he said, refusing to give details. “I can’t tell you that. I don’t have the right to tell you ”
Beijing has denied this and US intelligence agencies have already debunked conspiracy theories, saying the coronavirus is “neither man-made nor genetically modified.”