US Spy Agencies Monitor Covid-19 Spread, Warn Of Threat To India’s 1BN+ Population

US Spy Agencies Monitor Covid-19 Spread, Warn Of Threat To India’s 1BN+ Population

This could actually be a rare example of taxpayer money being put to good use by US intelligence agencies for a change, instead of the usual overthrowing governments, funding fanatical “rebels”, and eavesdropping on domestic communications.

Reuters reports that US spy agencies are closely monitoring the coronavirus and as a global threat to the homeland, and foreign governments’ ability to respond:

U.S. intelligence agencies are monitoring the global spread of coronavirus and the ability of governments to respond, sources familiar with the matter said on Thursday, warning that there were concerns about how India would cope with a widespread outbreak.

CIA headquarters in Langley, VA. Image source: Library of Congress

Both India and Iran are said to be of top concern for intelligence officials, given especially India’s densely packed population of over 1 billion people.

The New York Post writes:

Spy agencies in the US are monitoring the spread of coronavirus across the world — with a focus on India — as officials grapple with concerns over the country’s ability to handle a widespread outbreak.

India has confirmed just three cases of COVID-19 in the country, while its government says 23,531 people are under observationthe Economic Times reported.

As for Iran, it’s widely believed the Islamic Republic’s leaders are concealing the true numbers in the hardest hit Middle East country, while lashing out at Washington for stoking fear and “propaganda” – as President Hassan Rouhani put it in a Wednesday speech.

A new report in The Daily Beast  cites health researches who say Iran’s true numbers of infected could be closer to 18,000 and not the current official figure of over 240.

India’s Economic Times: “Places like Mumbai’s Dharavi slum can facilitate contact with virus-bearing droplets emitted by breathing, talking, coughing or sneezing.”

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said earlier this week that US remains “deeply concerned” Tehran is covering up the true level of its outbreak.

Meanwhile, the Reuters report notes further that the House Intelligence Committee is being regularly briefed by US intelligence.

“The Committee has received a briefing from the IC (intelligence community) on coronavirus, and continues to receive updates on the outbreak on a daily basis,” a House Intelligence Committee official told Reuters.

“Addressing the threat has both national security and economic dimensions, requiring a concerted government-wide effort and the IC is playing an important role in monitoring the spread of the outbreak, and the worldwide response,” the official said.

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