AMERICA is on a mission to prove China DID leak the Coronavirus after US intelligence agencies gained access to a goldmine of genetic data from the Wuhan lab.
Experts are now working to decipher the masses of information that contains genetic blueprints taken from virus samples studied at the Wuhan Institute of Virology
It has given fresh hope to the second 90-day report into uncovering the true origins of Covid, which some officials believe escaped from the infamous lab.
It is not clear how US intelligence forces gained access to the top-secret data, but sources told CNN there was a possibility the lab "was hacked".
Typically, machines that create and process genetic virus data of this kind are usually connected to external cloud-based servers – making them easy targets for cyber attacks.
The dossier could prove a critical piece of the puzzle in discovering the true origins of the pandemic after the info was removed from the internet by Chinese officials in September 2019.
China has since continuously refused to hand the genetic data from 22,000 virus samples being studied at the Wuhan lab and other important evidence on early coronavirus cases to the World Health Organization and the US.
"LAB ACCIDENTS HAPPEN"
The WHO has pressed for China to hand over the vital data after the organization's chief, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, admitted ruling out the lab leak theory was "premature".
He said the January probe was challenged by the lack of "access to raw data" before adding that "lab accidents happen".
Top scientists from the US are now tackling the colossal genetic data and attempting to unravel it before their deadline, using supercomputers at the Department of Energy's National Labs.
But it's not as simple as it may seem – as there are extremely specific requirements of the boffins decoding the data.
"Obviously there are scientists who are (security) cleared," one source familiar with the intelligence told the news outlet.
"But Mandarin-speaking ones who are cleared? That's a very small pool. And not just any scientists, but ones who specialize in bio? So you can see how this quickly becomes difficult."
US officials are skeptical about finding a "smoking gun" that would provide firm proof of their lab leak theory – despite Democrats making a dramatic U-turn and admitting it is a credible possibility.
Senior Biden administration officials have now said they believe it is as plausible as the idea that Covid emerged naturally.
GENETIC BLUEPRINTS COULD HOLD THE KEY
White House press secretary Jen Psaki also revealed they had been pressuring China through diplomatic channels to be granted access to the data the country collected during the first outbreak of the deadly virus, that went on to cripple the world.
US intelligence agencies are now focusing on finding "any progenitor virus and/or virus that could serve as the backbone for genetic engineering purposes."
Some researchers, intelligence officials and Republican lawmakers have suggested that scientists at the Wuhan lab may have genetically modified a virus using "gain of function" research.
They believe it could have then infected virus experts who then spread it amongst their communities.
Former Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe told CNN that the US intelligence community already had sufficient collection on the topic of Covid origins.
"Obviously the more, the better. But we've had extraordinary insight into this topic for many months, much more than has been declassified.
"Pretending we didn't is political theater and a classic example of a politician trying to buy time by using the IC as a scapegoat," he told CNN in a statement.
It comes after a former US state official under the Trump administration claimed French scientists were "kicked out" of the Wuhan Institute of Virology in 2017, prompting French officials to warn the US they had grave concerns about China's plans.
French national security officials did not want to share sensitive technology with China as they feared the lab could one day be transformed into a "biological arsenal", according to Le Figaro.
China has repeatedly stated it is not responsible for the global pandemic and dismissed conspiracy theories that say the virus was made by humans.
The Wuhan Institute of Virology has been at the center of the storm ever since Covid first emerged, just a stone's throw from the facility which was known to be studying very similar bat viruses.
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