On May 26, 2021, US President Joe Biden ordered a 90-day US intelligence-community investigation into the origins of SARS-CoV-2.
That night, I was camping at Bozeman Hot Springs under a full moon.
An unclassified summary of assessment on COVID-19 origins was released August 27, 2021. Some findings of note:
The IC assesses that SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, probably emerged and infected humans through an initial small-scale exposure that occurred no later than November 2019 with the first known cluster of COVID-19 cases arising in Wuhan, China in December 2019.Unclassified summary of assessment on COVID-19 origins, 2021-08-27
So, in most universes near us, SARS-CoV-2 emerged in or near Wuhan, China around November 2019.
In addition, the IC was able to reach broad agreement on several other key issues. We judge the virus was not developed as a biological weapon. Most agencies also assess with low confidence that SARS-CoV-2 probably was not genetically engineered; however, two agencies believe there was not sufficient evidence to make an assessment either way. Finally, the IC assesses China’s officials did not have foreknowledge of the virus before the initial outbreak of COVID-19 emerged.Unclassified summary of assessment on COVID-19 origins, 2021-08-27
So, in the vast majority of universes near us, SARS-CoV-2 does not appear to have been developed as a biological weapon and officials, at least in China, learned about the virus when the initial outbreak occurred.
There do appear to be perhaps as many as half or more universes around us in which SARS-CoV-2 was genetically engineered, to a greater or lesser degree. In a large subset of these universes, there is sufficient evidence of such genetic engineering.
After examining all available intelligence reporting and other information, though, the IC remains divided on the most likely origin of COVID-19. All agencies assess that two hypotheses are plausible: natural exposure to an infected animal and a laboratory-associated incident.Unclassified summary of assessment on COVID-19 origins, 2021-08-27
This quote shows clear evidence of multiple sets of universes of almost equal number around us. There is one set in which SARS-CoV-2 jumped naturally to humans from a non-human host. There is another set in which SARS-CoV-2 emerged from a laboratory, either in natural or genetically engineered or enhanced form.
Four IC elements and the National Intelligence Council assess with low confidence that the initial SARS-CoV-2 infection was most likely caused by natural exposure to an animal infected with it or a close progenitor virus—a virus that probably would be more than 99 percent similar to SARS-CoV-2. These analysts give weight to China’s officials’ lack of foreknowledge, the numerous vectors for natural exposure, and other factors.Unclassified summary of assessment on COVID-19 origins, 2021-08-27
In the vast majority of universes in which SARS-CoV-2 infected humans directly from an infected animal, there doesn’t appear to be any direct evidence of this occurring. In these same universes, there doesn’t appear to be any direct evidence of an alternative origin.
One IC element assesses with moderate confidence that the first human infection with SARS-CoV-2 most likely was the result of a laboratory-associated incident, probably involving experimentation, animal handling, or sampling by the Wuhan Institute of Virology. These analysts give weight to the inherently risky nature of work on coronaviruses.Unclassified summary of assessment on COVID-19 origins, 2021-08-27
This quote is the strongest with “moderate confidence” in SARS-CoV-2 originating in a laboratory, specifically the Wuhan Institute of Virology. At this point in reading the summary, it feels like the lab-origin universes outnumber the natural-origin universes by 2-to-1, 3-to-1, or even greater. The pandemic was an unexpected event and in the vast majority of universes around us at the time of the initial outbreak, the outbreak did NOT occur. In all of these universes, there was no “laboratory-associated incident”. The fact that even one IC element would access with moderate confidence that SARS-CoV-2 came from a lab points to this being correlated with the vast majority of universes in which the CoViD-19 pandemic occurs.
Analysts at three IC elements remain unable to coalesce around either explanation without additional information, with some analysts favoring natural origin, others a laboratory origin, and some seeing the hypotheses as equally likely.Unclassified summary of assessment on COVID-19 origins, 2021-08-27
Since the set of pandemic occurring universes are still quantum affected by non-pandemic occurring universes, it is expected that there would be a split in views. Also, a “laboratory-associated incident” is arguably more likely than a jump from the wild, all things being equal and assuming the Wuhan lab had SARS-like coronaviruses, which it apparently did.
Variations in analytic views largely stem from differences in how agencies weigh intelligence reporting and scientific publications, and intelligence and scientific gaps.Unclassified summary of assessment on COVID-19 origins, 2021-08-27
Gaps in intelligence explain why one IC would have “moderate confidence” in a lab origin theory while other ICs have “low confidence” in a natural origin theory.
The IC judges they will be unable to provide a more definitive explanation for the origin of COVID-19 unless new information allows them to determine the specific pathway for initial natural contact with an animal or to determine that a laboratory in Wuhan was handling SARS- CoV-2 or a close progenitor virus before COVID-19 emerged.Unclassified summary of assessment on COVID-19 origins, 2021-08-27
So, both sets of universes remain nearby without evidence of the animal that could have hosted SARS-CoV-2 before it jumped to humans, and without evidence that a laboratory was experimenting with SARS-CoV-2 (not sure why the report restricts the lab to be in Wuhan).
The IC—and the global scientific community—lacks clinical samples or a complete understanding of epidemiological data from the earliest COVID-19 cases. If we obtain information on the earliest cases that identified a location of interest or occupational exposure, it may alter our evaluation of hypotheses.Unclassified summary of assessment on COVID-19 origins, 2021-08-27
So, in the universe in which epidemiological data from the earliest CoViD-19 cases shows a link with either a lab or natural origin, then we will find ourselves closely surrounded by one set of universes or the other. It’s interesting to imagine how this so called “collapse of the wave function” would occur. In the parallel universe model of a mixture of surrounding universes, then in a subset of the natural origin universes, a link would be found to natural origin, and in a subset of the lab origin universes, a link would be found to a lab origin. In each of these cases, the universes in which one or the other happens would begin to attract other “like minded” universes consistent with the link found.
China’s cooperation most likely would be needed to reach a conclusive assessment of the origins of COVID-19. Beijing, however, continues to hinder the global investigation, resist sharing information and blame other countries, including the United States. These actions reflect, in part, China’s government’s own uncertainty about where an investigation could lead as well as its frustration the international community is using the issue to exert political pressure on China.Unclassified summary of assessment on COVID-19 origins, 2021-08-27
In the universes in which SARS-CoV-2 “escaped” from a lab in Wuhan, and evidence of this is undeniable, there will be expected resistance by China’s government. In the universes in which SARS-CoV-2 naturally found it’s way to humans through a wet market, there would also be expected resistance by China’s government. So, this statement of China’s resistance would be expected in both sets of universes and doesn’t really provide much insight into which set of universes are nearer.
Final thoughts: It’s of interest that there exists an “unclassified summary” of such an important investigation. An exercise for the reader is astral project to a universe in which the entire investigative report is released, read it and report back.