Pentagon contractor's report on COVID-19 origins is "bogus", U.S. media says

WASHINGTON, May 25 (Xinhua) -- A U.S. military contractor's report that the novel coronavirus was released from the Wuhan Institute of Virology is "filled with information that's just plain wrong," said The Daily Beast in a recent report.

"There's a critical flaw in the report," an article published by the U.S. news and opinion website wrote on May 17, adding that "Some of its most seemingly persuasive evidence is false -- provably false."

The circulating document was produced by the Multi-Agency Collaboration Environment (MACE), a part of Sierra Nevada, a major Department of Defense contractor, The Daily Beast reported.

The 30-page document claimed to rely on social media postings, commercial satellite imagery, and cellphone location data to draw the conclusion that some sort of "hazardous event" occurred at the Wuhan lab in October 2019.

"But the report's claim centers around missing location data for up to seven phones -- and in many cases, less than that," said the article. "It's too small a sample size to prove much of anything."

"The emergence of the MACE document comes amid a concerted effort to place blame for the coronavirus pandemic squarely on Beijing," the article wrote. "And its existence is confirmation that government resources are now being devoted to exploring that proposition, even as the actual intelligence remains far less conclusive."

"Everything about the stepwise evolution over time strongly indicates that (the novel coronavirus) evolved in nature and then jumped species," Anthony Fauci, director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, was quoted by National Geographic as saying.

"Whoever wrote this document is clearly confused about the nature of 'open source' information. Not only does the key information it contains not appear to be open source, but a simple search of Facebook can disprove one of the key tenets of the assessment," Nick Waters, senior investigator at Bellingcat, an open source investigative news outlet, was quoted by The Daily Beast.

"Perhaps the authors should have spent more time testing their analysis rather than working out how to crop the eye of Sauron (a main antagonist in the Lord of the Rings) into a logo copy-pasted from the internet," Waters said.

[ Editor: SRQ ]