White House releases old material on a Friday night, days after deadline had passed
On Friday night, President Joe Biden’s Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) released to Congress a 10-page summary of U.S. intelligence on the potential links between China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) and the COVID-19 pandemic. The summary claims there is no direct evidence that Covid-19 came from the laboratory.
But the summary did not reveal the names of the WIV scientists who fell ill in the fall of 2019, as the law, Public Act 118-2, requires. And multiple sources within the US government told both Public and The Wall Street Journal that the names of the researchers who fell ill were Ben Hu, Yu Ping, and Yan Zhu, and that they were the first three people to contract COVID-19.
The “Director of National Intelligence shall,” reads the Act, “declassify any and all information…including… researchers at the Wuhan Institute of Virology who fell ill in autumn 2019, including for any such researcher.. (i) the researcher’s name; (ii) the researcher’s symptoms” and other information.
The ODNI summary did discuss the researchers who fell ill, but it said, “We have no indications that any of these researchers were hospitalized because of the symptoms consistent with COVID-19.”
A few hours after the ODNI release, Science magazine published an article quoting Hu and other researchers strenuously denying that they had been sick with COVID-19.
However, neither the author of the Science article, Jon Cohen, nor anyone else with the magazine contacted us for comment before publishing the article. Cohen did not quote a single person critical of the theory that COVID-19 came from nature. And Cohen’s article suggests that the scientists who believe a lab leak is the most plausible origin of the pandemic are partisan Republican conspiracy theorists.