Dr. Gupta on the origin of Covid-19: I think answer is knowable 02:0
(CNN)The intelligence community’s push to uncover the origins of the Covid-19 pandemic has largely relied on traditional intelligence-gathering tools up until now, but President Joe Biden’s 90-day “redoubled” effort is intended in part to elevate scientific analysis.
The effort will bring in the National Labs, a collection of 17 elite research facilities under the Energy Department, “because of their ability to crunch massive amounts of data,” a White House official told CNN.
What those “massive amounts of data” contain remains unclear, although multiple sources tell CNN it is almost certainly not a new tranche of intelligence information.
“There is really no new collection that the intelligence community can do [on the origin question] that I’m aware of,” said one US official.
But officials might not need to collect anything new to achieve a breakthrough. They may just need the right tools to more thoroughly analyze the mountains of intercepted communications and other signals intelligence they already have. The intelligence community routinely picks up far more raw intelligence than its analysts can comb through — “it is a perennial challenge that we collect more than we have analysts to process,” said one person familiar with the intelligence — suggesting that the National Labs’ supercomputers may be used to help sift through that data.
Even so, current and former intelligence officials have long been suspicious that traditional intelligence-gathering tools were going to uncover the origins of the pandemic. The answer, many suggest, is more likely to come from the academic community — within or without government — which has spent the last year carefully studying the structure of the virus to determine if it escaped from a lab or originated naturally in the wild.
Leaning on science
Now, as the lab leak theory has begun to gain more mainstream acceptance in the academic community and pressure has risen on Capitol Hill to explore that possibility, the Biden administration has indicated that it wants to lean more heavily on traditional science to help come up with an answer.