The report late on Sunday noted that the coronavirus report had been "circulating in U.S. military and intelligence circles and on Capitol Hill" and appeared to bolster claims from Donald Trump and others that the coronavirus may have originated in a lab at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, the city where the outbreak first took place.
The 30-page report had been put together by the Multi-Agency Collaboration Environment (MACE), which is part of the Department of Defense contractor Sierra Nevada. The Daily Beast noted that it is now being studied and scrutinized by a number of congressional committees, who are looking into the claim that evidence shows there was a "hazardous event" at the lab in October 2019.
The report cited social media postings, commercial satellite images, and cell phone location data to reach that conclusion, The Daily Beast noted.
The Daily Beast cast doubt on those claims, noting that the report had some key facts wrong.
"But the report's claim centers around missing location data for up to seven phones — and in many cases, less than that," the report noted. "It's too small a sample size to prove much of anything, especially when the same devices showed similar absences in the spring of 2019. The MACE document claims a November 2019 conference was canceled because of some calamity; in fact, there are selfies from the event."
The Daily Beast added that there appeared to be a simple explanation for what the original study saw as roadblocks that went up around the lab after the supposed accident, saying that there was road construction going on at the time.
Trump has been vocal in pointing the finger at China for the outbreak, claiming he had seen evidence that the virus first came from the Wuhan lab and offering more general criticism of the country's failure to properly respond to the initial outbreak. China has been accused of silencing doctors who spoke out about the initial spread and pressuring the World Health Organization to hold back information about it.The true origin of the novel coronavirus remains a subject of many studies. While the prevailing theory has been that it first spread to humans in an exotic animal market in the city, some believe it began elsewhere. As The Inquisitr reported, a new study found evidence that the outbreak began somewhere else and was first brought to Wuhan by an infected person.