Investigation continues regarding origins of COVID-19


Photo courtesy of Unsplash/Matt Napo.

COVID-19 testing in a lab, March 23, 2021.

Much speculation still surrounds the origin of SARS-CoV-2, better known as COVID-19. With the world entering its fourth year of the pandemic, the United States Department of Energy is now joining forces with the FBI to aid in research. In the past week, they received information on a possible cause of what took place starting in November 2019.

In an unclassified document from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, it was reported that there is a fair chance that COVID-19 was started by a lab leak at the Wuhan Institute of Virology in China. The document also revealed it was very unlikely that the start of the virus was caused by an animal with the virus or a virus that has 99% of the attributes that COVID-19 has. The Intelligence Community (IC) assessed that there is a great chance the exposure was at a small scale.

With the discovery of the lab leak, the IC was able to rule out many rumors that people spread throughout the pandemic. One large misconception surrounded the suggestion that COVID-19 was not developed as a biological weapon and another that China was unaware of the virus before the initial spread.

This is a step in the right direction, although it is not definite that the lab leak was the cause of the initial exposure of the virus. Investigators are still looking into pinpointing exactly when or if the Wuhan Institute of Technology was handling COVID-19.

The United States is currently unaware of a complete understanding of data from early cases. If the U.S. was able to obtain case records from the start of the pandemic, they would be able to better trace the virus back to its origin.

Cooperation is key to coming to a conclusive end to this research and to provide long-awaited answers to the general public. Beijing is halting the progression of research to conclude the case as they are holding information and refusing to share it, as well as blaming other countries for the rapid spread of the virus.

With all of this information coming out, China denies the claims that the virus started there, instead blaming the U.S. and saying that the outbreak could have started in one of the labs here. No evidence has been provided to back up their claims.