A Department of Energy classified report ascribed COVID-19’s origin to a Chinese laboratory, according to a Wall Street Journal report.
The changed stance of the U. S. Energy Department was noted in an update to a 2021 document by Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines, the report noted.
The DOE has previously remained noncommittal about the pandemic’s origin of the pandemic but now shares the FBI’s belief the coronavirus likely spread due to a Chinese laboratory mishap. Information in a classified intelligence report recently provided to the White House and key members of Congress was attributed for the revelation by the Journal.
A theory that the COVID-19 pandemic began through natural transmission from an infected bat is greeted with “low confidence” by the National Intelligence Council and four other agencies, according to a Fox News report. The Central Intelligence Agency and another unnamed agency in the classified report remain undecided.
All the agencies surveyed in the report agree, though, that the pandemic was not the rogue product of a Chinese bioweapons program.
Considerable scientific expertise and oversight of a network of U.S. laboratories, some of which conduct biological research, adds significance to the Department of Energy’s determination.
According to the Wall Street Journal’s report, people who read the classified briefing said the DOE views the agency’s new judgement with “low confidence.” The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s 2021 conclusion that the pandemic began with a Wuhan laboratory leak is viewed by them with “moderate confidence,” a view that remains unchanged, according to the report.
The two concurring federal agencies arrived at their similar determinations separately for different reasons.
“There is a variety of views in the intelligence community,” National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said Sunday during an appearance on CNN. “Some elements in the intelligence community have reached conclusions on one side. Some on the other. A number of them have said they just don’t have enough information to be sure.”
“Here’s what I can tell you,” Sullivan continued, “President Biden has directed repeatedly every element of our intelligence community to put effort and resources behind getting to the bottom of this question. And one of the things in that Wall Street Journal report, which I can’t confirm or deny, but I will say the reference to the Department of Energy, President Biden specifically requested that the national labs, which are a part of the Department of Energy, be brought into this assessment because he wants to put every tool at use to be able to figure out what happened here.”
Sullivan added the administration will share any further insider information it receives with both Congress and the American people.
“But right now, there is not a definitive answer that has emerged from the intelligence community on this question,” he concluded.
The initial 2021 U.S. intelligence report stated the virus first circulated in Wuhan, China, no later than November 2019, according to the Journal report. The People’s Republic of China denies the virus originated from one of its labs. The Communist-controlled country curtailed World Health Organization’s investigations into the global pandemic’s origin in their country.
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