The Covid pandemic most likely resulted from a laboratory leak, concluded the US Energy Department in a classified intelligence report recently presented to the White House and key members of Congress.
In a shift from its stance, the Energy Department which was previously not clear on the emergence of the virus, noted in an update to a 2021 document by Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines’s office, reported publication The Wall Street Journal.
In May 2020, the report by the energy department’s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory concluded a lab-leak theory was plausible. The latest study also mentioned how different parts of the intelligence community succeeded in arriving at disparate judgments about the origin. The Energy Department is now in support of the Federal Bureau of Investigation which said the virus may have spread through a mishap at a Chinese laboratory. The report noted that four other agencies, including a national intelligence panel, still believe it was likely the result of natural transmission, and two are undecided.
Why is the Energy Department study so significant?
The Energy Department’s conclusion aided by the result of new intelligence is considered significant because the agency holds scientific expertise while overlooking a network of US national laboratories, some of which conduct advanced biological research.
The department made its judgment with “low confidence,” the Wall Street report cited sources as saying who read the classified report. The FBI had earlier concluded that the pandemic was likely the result of a lab leak in 2021 with “moderate confidence” and still holds to this view.
Meanwhile, US officials refused to share details on the fresh intelligence and analysis that led the Energy Department to change its position. The officials added that while the Energy Department and the FBI believe an unintended lab leak is most likely and they must have arrived at those conclusions for different reasons.
The updated document focuses on how intelligence officials are still trying to put together the pieces on how Covid-19 emerged. More than one million Americans have died in the pandemic that began more than three years ago.
The update, which is reportedly less than five pages, wasn’t requested by Congress. However, lawmakers, particularly House and Senate Republicans, are continuing with their own investigations into the origins of the pandemic and are pressing the Biden administration and the intelligence community for more information.
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