U.S. intelligence agencies have accessed a “treasure trove” of data from the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) that could provide new information about the origins of COVID-19, CNN reported Thursday.
The data includes entire virus genomes that scientists at WIV studied, sources familiar with the data collection told CNN. However, intelligence agencies are reportedly struggling to process the data, due to the sheer quantity of it and the fact that it is in Mandarin. The agencies are reportedly using supercomputers at the Department of Energy to process the virus data, but do not have enough Mandarin-speaking biologists to aid the effort.
“Obviously there are scientists who are (security) cleared,” an intelligence source told CNN. “But Mandarin-speaking ones who are cleared? That’s a very small pool. And not just any scientists, but ones who specialize in bio? So you can see how this quickly becomes difficult.”