Confidential Report US agency says pandemic originated in virus leak

Confidential Report: US agency says pandemic originated in virus leak from Chinese lab

Authorities who had access to the document say it was an accident and rule out the possibility of a biological weapon.

247 The US Department of Energy has changed its position on the origin of the Covid19 pandemic and now believes the virus likely spread through an accidental leak at a laboratory in Wuhan, China, UOL informs.

The information is contained in a classified intelligence report recently presented to the White House and key members of Congress.

By then, the Department of Energy had expressed doubts about the origin of the virus. The new position appears in an update to a 2021 document from the office of Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines.

The new report highlights how different parts of the intelligence community have come to different conclusions about the origin of the pandemic.


Four other agencies, along with a national intelligence body, still think it was likely the result of natural transmission; two are undecided.

The Department of Energy’s conclusion is relevant because the agency has significant scientific expertise and oversees a network of national US laboratories. But the department issued its verdict with “low confidence,” according to people who read the confidential report. The FBI, which had previously come to the same conclusion, has “moderate confidence” in that view.

2018 US State Department cables and internal Chinese documents show that there have been ongoing concerns about China’s biosecurity procedures, cited by proponents of the lab leak hypothesis. According to the 2021 US intelligence report, the Covid19 virus first circulated in Wuhan, China by November 2019.

US officials declined to elaborate on the new information, which prompted the Department of Energy to change its position. They added that while the Department of Energy and the FBI say an unintentional leak from the lab is more likely, they came to those conclusions for different reasons.

Despite the differing analyses, the update reinforces the consensus that the pandemic is not the result of a Chinese biological weapons program, the sources said. A senior US intelligence official confirmed that the intelligence agencies conducted the update in the light of new information, further study of the academic literature and consultation with experts outside the government.

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