Energy Department Concludes Covid-19 Likely Result of Lab Leak in China
The origins of the Covid-19 pandemic have long been a source of debate, with speculation about the virus’s source ranging from natural transmission from an infected animal to an accidental laboratory leak. Now, the U.S. Energy Department has reportedly concluded that the virus likely stemmed from a lab leak in China, according to a 2021 classified report provided to the White House and senior American lawmakers.
The Energy Department’s conclusion is the result of new intelligence and is significant because the agency has considerable scientific expertise and oversees a network of US national laboratories, some of which conduct advanced biological research. The department made its judgment with “low confidence,” according to people who have read the classified report.
In 2021, the FBI arrived at the belief that the pandemic probably originated from a laboratory escape with “moderate confidence” and this remains their opinion. The Chinese government has rejected any notion that the COVID In June 2022, the Chinese government's official press agency, Xinhua, refuted any implication that the virus originated from a Chinese laboratory, asserting that the theory had been “concocted by anti-China forces for political purposes.”
Officials who have read the classified report disclosed that the Central Intelligence Agency and another agency whose identity was not revealed remain undecided between the lab-leak and natural-transmission theories. Media reports indicate that four other agencies, in addition to a national intelligence panel, have determined that the transmission was likely natural, while two remain undecided.
Why is it important to know the origin of Covid-19? According to Relman, a Stanford microbiologist, discovering the solution can help avert the subsequent pandemic, as he told CNN. “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,
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