World remains vulnerable to new devastating pandemic: US report
The Office of the Director of National Intelligence warns of several causes that might lead to the emergence of a new devastating pandemic.
Nations around the world continue to be at risk from the emergence of a new pathogen that might spark a new disastrous pandemic, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence said on Wednesday in its Annual Threat Assessment of the US Intelligence Community report.
"Countries globally remain vulnerable to the emergence or introduction of a novel pathogen that could cause a devastating new pandemic," the report said.
The fundamental causes for any possible disease outbreak are climate change, wildlife harvesting, deforestation, and human encroachment into formerly undisturbed habitats, the report said, adding that these causes are now on the rise.
The report also warned that if they spread globally or into new areas, emerging livestock and agricultural diseases and antimicrobial resistance pose serious economic damage and disruption to food supplies.
In February, FBI Director Christopher Wray stated that the agency believes the Covid-19 pandemic "most likely" arose from a lab in Wuhan, China.
Other US intelligence agencies have related the virus to a market in Wuhan. However, the report was labeled with "low confidence," sources say.
Read: Reps charge at Fauci for ‘disproving’ Coronavirus lab leak theory
A report published by the Global Times on Sunday disclosed frustrations among World Health Organization (WHO) senior experts due to the US' reluctance to disclose more information on the origins of the Coronavirus.
A senior expert from the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (China CDC), who requested anonymity, told the Global Times, "The origins tracing should be purely a matter of science, but since the beginning, the issue has been mingled with politics. Driven by political interests, we've seen the US － from the accusations made by the FBI to the US Department of Energy － has never stopped politicizing the issue."
The expert added that how the US deals with origin-tracing issues is the same as its way of approaching diplomatic issues - always holding a hegemonic mentality and double standards.
Earlier this month, the Head of the Emerging Diseases and Zoonoses Unit in the WHO's Health Emergencies Programme Maria Van Kerkhove said the United States did not give the WHO access to reports or data that accuse a Chinese laboratory of causing Covid-19.
She stressed that all countries, institutions, and organizations are encouraged to share with the WHO any data related to the origin of the Covid-19 virus.
Read: China Studies Blood Bank Samples for COVID-19 Origins Probe