torsdag 23. september 2021

China: the overly sensitive superpower

When Washington’s intelligence agencies were tasked with determining the origins of Covid-19 a few months ago, there was reason to hope they would succeed. Rumor had it they were using supercomputers to dig out and analyze previously unnoticed evidence. The report they filed on August 24 dashed those hopes. According to the two-page unclassified summary, the agencies couldn’t agree on a conclusion.

Four believed the virus originated in an animal, but they had low confidence in their belief. One agency – some guess the FBI – was moderately confident a laboratory incident of some sort was to blame. Three others didn’t think there was enough evidence to support either theory. They all agreed a definitive conclusion would require China’s cooperation. “Beijing, however, continues to hinder the global investigation, resist sharing information and blame other countries, including the United States,” the unclassified summary said.

It’s a disappointing report and there are those in Washington who think the agencies need to work the problem harder. Knowing how the novel coronavirus started and spread could be critical to controlling the next pandemic – and there will be a next pandemic someday.

Nobody, though, doubts the report is right about China’s obfuscation.