Intel evidence suggests corona originated naturally: Pentagon

By: News Desk      Published: 11:56 AM, 15 Apr, 2020
Intel evidence suggests corona originated naturally: Pentagon

US intelligence considers the assumption that the outbreak of the novel coronavirus started in a laboratory in China, yet currently, the evidence points to the natural transfer of the virus to people, the leadership of the US army has stated, The Guardian reports.

The US army’s top general has said that US intelligence has looked into the possibility that the coronavirus outbreak could have started in a Chinese laboratory, but that the ‘weight of evidence’ so far pointed towards ‘natural’ origins.

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley was speaking on the day of a Washington Post report about State Department cables in 2018 in which US diplomats raised safety concerns about the US-supported Wuhan Institute of Virology which was conducting studies of coronavirus from bats.

The official version of China is that the start outbreak was the COVID-19 virus (Sars-CoV-2), which was transmitted to humans from animals at Wuhan’s wild animal markets. Meanwhile, some Chinese officials have circulated conspiracy theories suggesting it was created in a US bioweapons laboratory

US Marines need their buzz cuts: top general

While coronavirus sequestering has millions sporting longer locks as they go without haircuts, that's not going to happen for one group: the US Marines. 

From their boot camp buzz cuts to the "high and tight" style standard for the Marine Corps, a spartan trim is inseparable from their war-fighting discipline, Pentagon Joint Chiefs Chairman General Mark Milley said Tuesday.

Milley was asked whether social distancing practices, which have prevented many worldwide from keeping their barber appointments, should be implemented in the US military, after a video surfaced of about two dozen of Marines lined up for their regular cut at Camp Pendleton in California.

While most were keeping their distance, it was not the recommended six feet, and none had masks on, the video showed.

"Whether they are marines, or soldiers, or airmen, or sailors, you know discipline is a fundamental function of our force," Milley told reporters.

"And for many, many years the United States military has had hair standards.... Yes, I think Marines should get haircuts. "

Milley cited the legendary US Marines' assault on the Japanese-held island of Iwo Jima during World War II in early 1945.  

"That Marine victory was the result of incredible discipline," he said.

"It may seem superficial to some, but getting a haircut is part of that discipline."

Defence Secretary Mark Esper, who is already dealing with nearly 600 COVID-19 infections aboard an aircraft carrier and 4,769 cases in total across some 150 military installations, said it was one of myriad issues as they try to both protect the US forces and maintain battle readiness.

"There's no doubt in my mind that you could go to any camp, fort, base, you name it and find somebody not following the guidance," he said.

"That's something I would not have thought of putting into the guidance, the haircut policy," he added.

To which Milley jumped in: "Don't take that as guidance yet. (There are) a lot of ways to do haircuts."