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COVID-19 Leaked From Wuhan Lab Based On New Intel, Energy Dept Says

Aerial view of the P4 laboratory (centre L) on the campus of the Wuhan Institute of Virology in Wuhan in China’s central Hubei province in May 2020. Opened in 2018, the P4 lab conducts research on the world’s most dangerous diseases and has been accused by some top US officials of being the source of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.
AFP / Hector RETAMAL

KEY POINTS

  • Other agencies remain undecided on the virus’s origins
  • The FBI earlier issued the same conclusion with “moderate confidence”
  • President Biden ordered the national labs to cooperate in the effort

An accidental laboratory leak in Wuhan, China, most likely caused the COVID-19 pandemic, the United States Energy Department claimed, as other agencies remain undecided on the virus’s origins. To see also : Anna Faris Says ‘Competitiveness, Comparisons’ Played A Role In Chris Pratt, Ben Indra Divorces.

The department’s conclusion was made with “low confidence,” according to a classified intelligence report recently provided to the White House and key members of Congress, the Wall Street Journal reported. Previously, the department was undecided on the source of the virus.

The conclusion came after the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) issued a finding with “moderate confidence” that the virus spread after leaking out of a Chinese laboratory, according to the outlet.

Earlier, the FBI pinpointed the Wuhan Institute of Virology, a Chinese lab working on coronaviruses, as the possible origin of the deadly virus that has put the world on lockdown and killed millions.

Meanwhile, other agencies are yet to change their conclusions even after the Energy Department shared the information, the New York Times reported.

Four intelligence agencies and the National Intelligence Council have concluded, with “low confidence,” that the virus most likely emerged through natural transmission, per the council’s report in 2021.

National security adviser Jake Sullivan reportedly declined to confirm the intelligence. However, he said that President Joe Biden had earlier ordered the national labs to cooperate in the effort to determine the outbreak’s origins.

Most of the Energy Department’s insights reportedly come from its network of 17 U.S. laboratories, some of which conduct biological research.

“There is a variety of views in the intelligence community,” Sullivan told CNN on Sunday. “Some elements of the intelligence community have reached conclusions on one side, some on the other. A number of them have said they just don’t have enough information to be sure.”

“But right now, there is not a definitive answer that has emerged from the intelligence community on this question,” he said, adding the administration would report any new information to Congress and the public.

In 2020, a classified study of the origin of SARS-CoV-2 by scientists at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, the Department of Energy’s premier biodefense research institution, concluded that both the lab-origin theory and the zoonotic theory were plausible and warranted further investigation, ABC News reported.

The zoonotic theory, which China claims to be the virus’s origin, says that an animal, most likely a bat, infected the first human with COVID-19 or infected an intermediate host, such as another animal, that subsequently infected the first human. The theory focuses on the “wet” markets of Wuhan, where roughly one-third of the first 174 known cases of COVID-19 had links, said the outlet.

The wet market in China's Wuhan where the virus is believed to have emerged was shut down after the outbreak
The wet market in China’s Wuhan where the virus is believed to have emerged was shut down after the outbreak
AFP / Hector RETAMAL