Intelligence Community Assesses COVID-19 Origins

A scientist with blue gloves injecting vials with a syringe

The U.S. Office of the Director of National Intelligence has released an Unclassified Summary of Assessment on COVID-19 [coronavirus disease 2019] Origins. Details in the summary indicate that the most plausible origins of COVID-19 involve exposure to SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2) via an infected animal or a lab-related incident. The first human infections likely occurred before November 2019 in Wuhan, China,  with most of the intelligence community agreeing that it was not developed as a biological weapon. However, confirming any origin hypotheses will require more information, specifically more data from the earliest infections. Unfortunately, this data would likely have to be provided by the Chinese government, who currently seem to be resisting information sharing.

For more information on topics related to this piece, check out the COVID-19 Special Collection, or visit the HSDL Featured Topics on Pandemics and Epidemics.

Please note: HSDL login is required to view some of these resources.

Need help finding something?  Ask one of our librarians for assistance!