(WASHINGTON, D.C.) — A popular conspiracy theory about the COVID-19 pandemic is that the virus did not originate in a Chinese market, where live animals are purchased for consumption, but that it was man-made in a lab in Wuhan. The theory has proven popular with some of President Donald Trump’s supporters and administration officials.
The Office of the Director of National Intelligence on Thursday reacted to the claim and will verify the virus’ origins and prove whether or not COVID-19 originated in a Chinese government lab.
In a rare public statement, the DNI said Thursday, “The [Intelligence Community] will continue to rigorously examine emerging information and intelligence to determine whether the outbreak began through contact with infected animals or if it was the result of an accident at a laboratory in Wuhan.”
However, the department insisted that it agrees with “wide scientific consensus” that the virus originated in a market and was not genetically modified or man-made.
Meanwhile, on Wednesday, the White House ordered intelligence agencies to look into communications and other data about the first reports of COVID-19 with the express purpose of uncovering any possibility that China or the World Health Organization concealed information about the virus.
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