Before 1 January 2022, will the US Intelligence Community publicly state that a laboratory accident is a more probable scenario for the inception of the COVID-19 pandemic than it having emerged naturally through contact with infected animals?

Started Jun 11, 2021 10:00PM UTC
Closed Jan 01, 2022 08:01AM UTC

Debate on the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic has regained salience (BBC, Science Magazine, Nature, BBC). On 27 May 2021, the ODNI issued a press release stating that the U.S. Intelligence Community had “coalesced around two likely scenarios: either it emerged naturally from human contact with infected animals or it was a laboratory accident. While two elements of the IC lean toward the former scenario and one leans more toward the latter -- each with low or moderate confidence -- the majority of elements within the IC do not believe there is sufficient information to assess one to be more likely than the other” (Office of the Director of National Intelligence). President Biden has asked for further reporting on the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic (, NY Times, BBC). For further information on US intelligence community terminology on probabilities and confidence, see Intelligence Community Directive 203 (Federation of American Scientists).

Confused? Check our FAQ or ask us for help. To learn more about Good Judgment and Superforecasting, click here.

To learn more about how you can become a Superforecaster, see hereFor other posts from our Insights blog, click here.

The question closed "No" with a closing date of 1 January 2022.

See our FAQ to learn about how we resolve questions and how scores are calculated.

Possible Answer Correct? Final Crowd Forecast
Yes 0.00%
No 100.00%

Crowd Forecast Profile

Participation Level
Number of Forecasters 294
Average for questions older than 6 months: 210
Number of Forecasts 761
Average for questions older than 6 months: 596
Participants in this question vs. all forecasters average

Most Accurate

Relative Brier Score


Recent Consensus, Probability Over Time

Tip: Mention someone by typing @username