April 30 (UPI) -- The U.S. intelligence community issued a rare news release Thursday saying it has found no proof the coronavirus was manmade.
The release from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence comes as rumors swirled about the origins of the virus with some suggesting that it may have been created in a lab in Wuhan, China, the epicenter of the pandemic.
"The entire Intelligence Community has been consistently providing critical support to U.S. policymakers and those responding to the COVID-19 virus, which originated in China," the statement said. "The Intelligence Community also concurs with the wide scientific consensus that the COVID-19 virus was not manmade or genetically modified."
The release said the intelligence community produced "critical intelligence" about the pandemic as it does in all crises concerning national security.
"The IC will continue to rigorously examine emerging information and intelligence to determine whether the outbreak began through contact with infected animals or if it was the result of an accident at a laboratory in Wuhan," the release said.
The Trump administration, pushed by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, had urged the U.S. intelligence agencies for more information on the origins of the coronavirus. The White House had accused the World Health Organization of withholding information on the virus.
Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, the leading Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, on Monday asked the group to conduct hearings on how China and the WHO handled the coronavirus during the early months of the pandemic.