New Intel: Wuhan Lab Leak Most
The Energy Department is now saying new intelligence shows the COVID-19 pandemic has been most likely caused by a Wuhan, China, lab leak, a realization long believed by many Americans but once considered a conspiracy theory even by U.S. public health leaders, including Dr. Anthony Fauci.
The Energy Department was previously undecided on the origins of COVID-19, but a classified intelligence report given to the White House and congressional leaders highlighted an update to a 2021 report to Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines, The Wall Street Journal reported Sunday.
"Kudos to those who are willing to set aside their preconceptions and objectively reexamine what we know and don't know about COVID origins," Stanford microbiologist David Relman told the Journal.
"My plea is that we not accept an incomplete answer or give up because of political expediency."
The FBI was the first federal agency to determine — with "moderate confidence" — the most likely origin of COVID-19 was through at leak at the Wuhan Institute of Virology. There remain six other agencies, including a national intelligence panel still reluctant to back the lab-leak origin. Four still believe it was natural in origin, while two others are undecided, according to the report.
One unilateral conclusion among eight agencies in the U.S. origins review is that COVID-19 is not a biological weapons program, sources say.
The Energy Department has jurisdiction over a network of U.S. laboratories and some conduct advanced biological research, making this new intelligence a significant revelation — albeit a judgment the department hedged with a label of "low confidence," sources told the Journal.
Notably, sources say the FBI and Energy Department have come to their conclusions from different intelligence.
The National Intelligence Council says with "low confidence" COVID-19 originated by animal transmission, while the Central Intelligence Agency and another unnamed agency remain undecided, according to sources.
The sudden but unsolicited classified update to the 2021 report comes as House Republicans are investigating COVID origins, China, and the weaponization of government.
There are 18 U.S. intelligence agencies, and eight of them are assigned to review the origins of COVID-19.
Congressional Republicans have sought reasons for the FBI having been the only agency that labeled the lab leak as the most likely origin of COVID-19, but have thus far been blocked under the guise of risking impact to "integrity of ongoing investigations."
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