President Biden on Tuesday received a classified report from the intelligence community that was inconclusive about the origins of the novel coronavirus, including whether the pathogen jumped from an animal to a human as part of a natural process, or escaped from a lab in central China, according to two U.S. officials familiar with the matter.
The intelligence community will seek within days to declassify elements of the report for potential public release, officials said.
The assessment is the result of a 90-day sprint after Biden tasked his intelligence agencies in May to produce a report “that could bring us closer to a definitive conclusion” on the origins of a virus that has killed more than 4 million people globally and wrecked national economies. But despite analyzing a raft of existing intelligence and searching for new clues, intelligence officials fell short of a consensus, said the officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the report is not yet public.
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