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March 31, 2023
A classified intelligence report from the U.S. Energy Department has strongly hinted that a lab leak is the most plausible theory for how the COVID-19 pandemic started.
The report, which was part of an update to a 2021 document by Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines’s office, was recently give to the White House and other lawmakers. Sources informed the Wall Street Journal that the addition to the report is a result of new intelligence.
Despite the report being made with “low confidence” by the Energy Department, they have changed their status from 2021, which was undecided.
White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan responded to the report during his appearance on CNN’s State of the Union on Sunday.
“Here’s what I can tell you. President Biden has directed, repeatedly, every element of our intelligence community to put effort and resources behind getting to the bottom of this question,” Sullivan said. “If we gain any further insight or information, we will share it with Congress, and we will share it with the American people. But right now, there is not a definitive answer that has emerged from the intelligence community on this question.”
A declassified intelligence report, which was released in November 2021, previously showed that the FBI believed with a degree of “moderate confidence” that the pandemic began with a “laboratory accident” following a 90-day review ordered by President Biden.
There are many virology labs are located in Wuhan, which is where COVID-19 was first detected, including the Wuhan Institute of Virology, where bat coronaviruses were studied.
Initially many officials denied the lab leak theory and put it down to unsanitary food at a wet market in Wuhan.
A team of experts from 10 countries who worked for the WHO said that he virus was likely a result of bat to human interaction and that a lab leak was “extremely unlikely.”
Peter Ben Embarek, who is the WHO food safety and animal diseases expert who was in charge of their investigation into the origins of the novel coronavirus, stated in a Danish documentary released several months later that Chinese officials influenced the findings.
“In the beginning, they didn’t want anything about the lab [in the report], because it was impossible, so there was no need to waste time on that,” Ben Embarek said. “We insisted on including it, because it was part of the whole issue about where the virus originated.”
ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH
MANAGING EDITOR: LUKE MOCHERMAN
PHOTO CREDIT: FORBES