US spy agencies have concluded that the Covid-19 virus that has infected more than three million people around the world was not man-made.
The Office of the Director of National Intelligence revealed on Thursday that it had examined the unsubstantiated theory that the new coronavirus had been developed by Chinese scientists in a government biological weapons laboratory, however found no supporting evidence.
“The intelligence community concurs with the wide scientific consensus that the Covid-19 virus was not man-made or genetically modified,” it said, adding that it was still examining whether the origins of the pandemic trace to contact with infected animals or an accident at a Chinese lab.
Senior Trump administration officials have pushed intelligence agencies to hunt for evidence to support the theory as they escalate a public campaign to blame China for the outbreak, according to the New York Times.
The Chinese government has repeatedly denied that the virus leaked from a lab while pushing disinformation on its origins, including suggesting that the American military created it.