WSJ: Covid-19 pandemic triggered by ‘accident at Chinese lab’, US Department of Energy says

According to a classified intelligence report recently released to the White House, the US Department of Energy has concluded that the Covid-19 pandemic most likely originated from a laboratory accident in China.

The report is actually an update to a 2021 document in which the Department of Energy previously said it could not accurately determine the origin of the Covid-19 pandemic that emerged in late 2019. Wall Street Journal.

The report was recently shared with the White House and key members of Congress.

The new report highlights how different parts of the intelligence community have reached different conclusions about the origins of the pandemic. The Energy Department is now joining the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which initially said an accident at a Chinese lab may have spread the virus.

Four other agencies, along with the National Intelligence Committee, still believe it may be the result of natural transmission, and two agencies are undecided.

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U.S. officials declined to elaborate on the new information and analysis that led the Energy Department to change its position.

The updated document highlights how intelligence officials are still piecing together how Covid-19 originated. More than a million Americans have died from the epidemic that began three years ago.

According to the updated report, the National Intelligence Council, which is conducting a long-running strategic analysis, and four other agencies, which officials declined to name, believe the virus originated through natural transmission from an infected animal.

The Central Intelligence Agency and another agency, which officials declined to name, are undecided about the new theory, people who read the classified report said.

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According to a 2021 US intelligence report, the Covid-19 virus first appeared in Wuhan, China, and since November 2019, the origins of the epidemic have been the subject of intense, sometimes biased, debate among academics, intelligence experts and legislators.

Wuhan has numerous laboratories, many of which were built or expanded as a result of China’s traumatic experience with severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS, that began in 2002. Among these are the campuses of the Wuhan Institute of Virology. China Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Wuhan Institute of Biological Products, which produces vaccines.

An outbreak at a seafood market in Wuhan was initially believed to be the source of the virus.

In May 2021, President Biden called on the intelligence community to step up efforts to investigate the origins of Covid-19 and ordered a review based on the work of US national laboratories and other agencies. He said Congress will be briefed on the initiative.

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