Trump admin asks intel agencies to find out whether China, WHO hid info on pandemic

The White House has ordered intelligence agencies to comb through communications intercepts, human source reporting, satellite imagery and other data to establish whether China and the World Health Organization initially hid what they knew about the emerging coronavirus pandemic, current and former U.S. officials familiar with the matter told NBC News.

A specific “tasking” seeking information about the outbreak’s early days was sent last week to the National Security Agency and the Defense Intelligence Agency, which includes the National Center for Medical Intelligence, an official directly familiar with the matter said. The CIA has received similar instructions, according to current and former officials familiar with the matter…

As part of the tasking, intelligence agencies were asked to determine what the WHO knew about two research labs studying coronaviruses in the Chinese province of Wuhan, where the virus was first observed. NBC News has previously reported that the spy agencies have been investigating the possibility that the virus escaped accidentally from one of the labs, although many experts believe that is unlikely.