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Washington Post: My, That Declassified Report on COVID-19’s Origins Is ‘Sparse’

Medical workers in protective suits inspect a CT scan image at a hospital in Xiaogan, Hubei Province, China, February 20, 2020. (China Daily/Reuters)

I’m glad that the Washington Post editorial board has not forgotten about the questions about the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic, and declared that “the need for a full and credible investigation into how the pandemic began — and how to prevent the next one — has never been greater.” After noting that the declassified version of the intelligence community’s report was “sparse,” the editors wrote:

President Biden noted last week that China continues to withhold information. “The world deserves answers, and I will not rest until we get them,” he pledged. But how? Ultimately, China holds the key. However, Mr. Biden should offer to support and facilitate the work toward a full-fledged pandemic investigatory commission being undertaken by the privately funded Covid Commission Planning Group under Philip Zelikow, who was executive director of the highly regarded 9/11 Commission. Such a panel would be uniquely capable of looking both back at what happened and forward to what might.

But it is abundantly clear that the Chinese government has no intention of ever cooperating with an independent international or outside investigation. If Philip Zelikow wants to emulate the 9/11 Commission, fine, but it’s fair to wonder just what that commission will be able to find that the U.S. intelligence community could not.

And if a 90-day review by the intelligence community didn’t bring any new information to the public — and didn’t confirm, deny, or even acknowledge previous leaks attributed to the U.S. intelligence committee — it is fair to wonder how eager the U.S. government is to give the public a full and detailed accounting of COVID-19’s origins.

Biden’s statement after reading the intelligence community’s review declared, “We must have a full and transparent accounting of this global tragedy. Nothing less is acceptable.” Back on May 27, White House press secretary Jen Psaki elaborated:

Back in March, the President asked his intelligence community to do an assessment — an internal assessment, which you all know happens all the time and he is presented often — often in PDBs what those assessments look like.  That’s what they did.  It was presented to him a couple of weeks ago. In that PD- — or, following that PDB, he made clear — he asked them to see if we could declassify that information, make it available to the public.  They came back just this week with what they would propose to be a public statement.

And yet, the declassified intelligence community report is one and a quarter pages, and offers nothing the public did not already know.

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