Africa-Press – Kenya. The virus that caused the COVID-19 pandemic leaked from a lab, said a onetime US director of national intelligence on Tuesday.
“My informed assessment, as a person with as much or more access than anyone to our government’s intelligence during the initial year of the virus outbreak and pandemic onset, has been and continues to be that a lab leak is the only explanation credibly supported by our intelligence, by science and by common sense,” John Ratcliffe told the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic.
“If our intelligence and evidence supporting a lab leak theory was placed side-by-side with our intelligence and evidence pointing to a naturally occurring ‘spillover’ theory, the lab leak side of the ledger would be long and overwhelming while the ‘spillover’ side would be nearly empty,” added Ratcliffe, also a former Republican congressman from Texas.
Ratcliffe, appointed by then-President Donald Trump, served as director of national intelligence for less than a year (May 2020-January 2021). First nominated for the post in 2019, he initially withdrew his nomination amid concerns he might politicize intelligence and after it emerged he had exaggerated his relevant experience for the post.
Trump and many Republicans – who control the House committee – have long sought to blame China for the virus
Ratcliff suggested that the evidence on this issue is strong enough to hold research in Wuhan laboratories responsible for the emergence of a global pandemic.
“The Communist Party would be convicted of going to great lengths to cover up the virus’ origins –from destroying medical tests, samples and data, to intimidating and ‘disappearing’ witnesses and journalists asking questions, to lying and coercing global health authorities, to spreading propaganda that the virus originated in the United States,” he added.
But Mark Lowenthal, a former assistant CIA director for analysis and production, said that it is scientifically difficult to make a decision about whether COVID-19 came naturally or from a laboratory.
Lowenthal said that if China does not cooperate on this issue, the issue will almost certainly never be resolved.