The most likely source of the COVID-19 pandemic was a laboratory leak, the U.S. Energy Department concludes in a classified intelligence report.
The Energy Department made the admission in a report that is now before the White House and key members of Congress.
On Sunday, The Wall Street Journal reported that the Energy Department’s revised assessment of the pandemic’s origins is based on fresh intelligence noted in an update to a 2021 document by Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines’s office.
The WSJ further states while the investigation is ongoing, more authorities are coming to the lab leak hypothesis however there is as yet no unanimous decision:
The new report highlights how different parts of the intelligence community have arrived at disparate judgments about the pandemic’s origin.
The Energy Department now joins the Federal Bureau of Investigation in saying the virus likely spread via a mishap at a Chinese laboratory.
Four other agencies, along with a national intelligence panel, still judge that it was likely the result of a natural transmission, and two are undecided.
The report goes on to say the Energy Department made its judgment with “low confidence,” according to people who have read the classified report.
However, it does align with previous speculation about the exact origin of the virus.
Republican Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) doubled down on questions addressing the origins of the pandemic as far back as 2021.
The senator notes that the lab leak hypothesis was “always reasonable.”
Yet, it was quickly denounced as a conspiracy theory by “reporters & activists in white lab coats.”
“The common-sense case for a lab leak is the same as it was in January 2020, when I first mentioned the possibility,” Cotton said at the time.
In the time since others agreed the Biden administration would be remiss not to investigate the Wuhan laboratory as a source of the deadly release.
U.S. officials reportedly have declined to give details on the fresh intelligence and analysis that led the Energy Department to change its position.
They added while the Energy Department and the FBI each say an unintended lab leak is most likely, they arrived at those conclusions for different reasons, the WSJ concludes.
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