Politico Has Learned That The Pentagon Is Studying A Scenario Using COVID-19 As A Weapon
The Pentagon and the US intelligence community are studying the likelihood of such variants of events in which Washington's opponents can use the COVID-19 coronavirus against "high-level targets" associated with the US, according to Politico, citing sources in the defense Ministry and US intelligence.
At the same time, the authorities stressed that such attention to the potential combat use of COVID-19 does not mean that Washington believes in the artificial origin of the coronavirus and its purpose for military purposes.
"The intelligence community is still investigating the potential origins of the virus, but there is no clear intelligence or scientific evidence to support the theory that it escaped from a lab in China, said people familiar with the subject," Politico notes.
At the same time, the newspaper writes, it is unclear what exactly made the US security agencies pay attention to the scenario with the use of COVID-19 as a weapon. So, previously unnamed representative of the United States defense Ministry claimed that such a prospect "seems to carry a low level of risk," and that Washington considers the main issues to be the origin of the virus and the awareness of the Chinese authorities about it at the initial stages of the epidemic.
Earlier, a Pentagon spokesman, Lieutenant Colonel Mike Andrews, declined to comment on reports that the Defense Department is studying the possibility of using the COVID-19 as a weapon by "hostile forces."
However, according to Politico, the FBI in March sent warnings to its local offices that "members of extremist groups encourage each other to spread the virus, if infected, through the transfer of biological fluids and personal communication."
In April, the head of the Health Department of the General staff of the armed forces of Iran, Hasan Araghizadeh, claimed that Tehran is studying the possibility that the COVID-19 coronavirus may be a means of biological warfare by its origin.
Later, the US TV channel Fox News reported, citing sources, that the US is conducting a full-scale investigation into whether the Wuhan laboratory is the likely source of COVID-19 distribution. However, Fox News stressed, at this stage, the administration and state intelligence reject the possibility that the coronavirus could have been artificially created in China as something like a biological weapon.