| 21 May 2024, Tuesday |

Putin Urges to Fight Pandemic Rather Than Politicize COVID-19 Origins

The 90-day US intelligence-community investigation into the origins of coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 was ordered by US President Joe Biden on 26 May. The inquiry, however, produced an inconclusive report in which most US intelligence agencies determined that the virus was most likely naturally born.

Countries need to join together to fight the COVID-19 pandemic instead of politicizing the issue of the virus’s provenance, Russian President Vladimir Putin emphasized, addressing the plenary session of the Eastern Economic Forum.

In the opinion of the Russian President, although trying to determine the causes of a phenomenon is the right thing to do, when “politicization begins, trust in the conclusions that are based on a politicized approach declines”.

“All such studies should be based on objective data,” the Russian head of state emphasized, warning that those who are politicizing the issue are making huge, “calamitous mistakes in the fight against the pandemic.”

Vladimir Putin weighed in on the recently published US coronavirus origins report, which, though inconclusive on the virus’s origins, found SARS-CoV-2 wasn’t likely to have been engineered.

Applauding the conclusions set out in the report, Putin added these deductions ought to have been made sooner.

Beijing has repeatedly rejected Washington’s allegations that COVID-19 originated in a Wuhan lab, warning the White House against politicizing the issue.

Inconclusive US Intel Report

As a global effort has been underway to contain the spread of COVID-19, scientists have been trying to work out from where the virus originated. After a WHO team visited China’s Wuhan earlier in the year to conclude in a report that the disease most likely spilt over from an animal sold at a market, appearing to dismiss the possibility that it may have leaked accidentally from the Wuhan Institute of Virology, the conclusion has been rejected by some scientists.

In May President Biden gave the US intelligence agencies 90 days to assess the data and produce a report that “could bring us closer to a definitive conclusion” on the origins of the virus.

Biden received the investigation’s classified report on 24 August, with the unclassified version made public later.
The inconclusive investigation left intelligence agencies divided on whether the pandemic began because of a laboratory accident, or because of human contact with an infected animal, such as a bat.

“All agencies assess that two hypotheses are plausible: natural exposure to an infected animal and a laboratory-associated incident,” the nation’s 18 intelligence agencies wrote in an unclassified report.

  • Sputnik