(LifeSiteNews) — The Biden administration omitted expert conclusions that COVID-19 was most likely lab-engineered from its formal inquiry into the virus’s origins, according to an exclusive Sky News report.
In June, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) released a report on possible links between China’s controversial Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) and the worldwide spread of COVID-19, which ultimately declined to endorse a firm conclusion on the virus’s origins or share new information with the public.
The report, mandated by the COVID-19 Origin Act of 2023 passed unanimously by Congress in March, declined to endorse any theory over another, instead noting that different agencies endorsed different explanations, but ultimately, “Almost all IC agencies assess that SARS-CoV-2 was not genetically engineered. Most agencies assess that SARS-CoV-2 was not laboratory-adapted; some are unable to make a determination.”
The report fell far short of the Origin Act’s call for “any and all information” relevant to the question, according to lead sponsor Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO). It also neglected to contend with, and in some cases appeared to directly contradict, developments in the case that have previously been reported, and ultimately failed to assuage suspicions that the government was acting out of a vested interest in obscuring any blame it might have for the pandemic.
Now, Sky reports that the report’s noncommittal conclusion “was not the assessments made by the four groups within the intelligence agencies that actually engaged in scientific analysis, who concurred that there was either a highly likely or reasonable chance the virus was genetically engineered.”
Specifically, scientists with the Defense Intelligence Agency’s National Center for Medical Intelligence (DIA NCMI) studied the the genome sequence of SARS-CoV-2 and concluded it was likely a “laboratory construct,” via the discovery that the size and location of one of its fragments resembled a fragment from a 2008 grant application by China’s embattled WIV.
“This paper is the smoking gun of everything,” said a source speaking on condition of anonymity. “When the team reviewed this data, they thought ‘This is created in the lab. It’s a reverse genetics construct.’”
However, their work with the FBI’s weapons of mass destruction (WMD) unit was blocked by higher-ups, and roughly 90 percent of the DIA NCMI’s edits to the final report were removed or omitted.
“They said the information was too technical to include in the ODNI assessment,” a source said. “When the scientists saw the final document, they wondered were did all their edits go?”
“There was a lot of erroneous information,” a source said. “There was no genomic analysis in the ODNI report, nothing about the rare codons or the poly basic cleavage site and the minimal cassette that is similar to prior work published by WIV scientists. This virus also had no apparent mutational signatures.”
Publicly, the theory that COVID escaped from a Chinese lab was widely mocked and dismissed ever since Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) floated it in February 2020, and for months any suggestion of it was condemned as misinformation. It was not until mid-2021, well after Democrats had retaken the White House, that mainstream media outlets began to acknowledge it as a possibility.
One focal point of the issue has been former White House COVID adviser and National Institute of Allergy & Infectious Diseases (NIAID) director Dr. Anthony Fauci, given his role in supporting the research that may have eventually led to COVID by approving funding for medical non-government organization EcoHealth Alliance to explore gain-of-function research, which entails intentionally strengthening viruses to better study their potential effects, on coronaviruses, at several sites, including WIV.
Fauci and his defenders insisted that the work NIAID approved was not gain-of-function research and could not have led to COVID, but in January 2022 Project Veritas released documents they obtained showing that, before going to NIAID, EcoHealth previously pitched its funding request to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), which rejected it on the grounds that the project would violate a preexisting moratorium on GOF research and failed to account for its potential risks.
Since then, leaked emails have revealed that Fauci, former National Institutes of Health (NIH) director Dr. Francis Collins, and other top researchers were aware of the lab-leak possibility as early as February 2020 but feared publicly acknowledging it would impair “science and international harmony.”
In March, the Washington Examiner reported that in early 2020, Dr. Kristian Andersen of the Scripps Institute and Dr. Robert Garry of Tulane University notified Fauci that they took seriously suspicions that COVID first escaped from WIV, with Andersen writing that “one has to look really closely at all the sequences to see that some of the features (potentially) look engineered,” and that COVID’s genome seemed “inconsistent with expectations from evolutionary theory.”
In March, however, both signed onto a paper entitled “The Proximal Origin of SARS-CoV-2” (Proximal Origin), which concluded the lab-leak hypothesis was not “plausible.” LifeSiteNews has reported that Fauci himself had input into the final draft, which was not initially disclosed. The Examiner’s review found that, from 2020 to 2022, research projects led by Andersen and Garry received $25.2 million in NIH grants.
Andrew Huff, a former U.S. Army infantryman in Iraq, research fellow in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and vice president-turned-whistleblower for EcoHealth, has also attested that COVID’s origins trace back to U.S. federal funding overseen by Fauci and the federal government.