Lab leak most likely caused pandemic, Energy Department says
The Energy Department said it obtained new intelligence that an accidental leak from a Chinese laboratory started the coronavirus pandemic. The Wall Street Journal first reported Monday that the information was given to members of Congress and the White House. The Energy Department made its conclusion with “low confidence,” according to officials who viewed the document. The department oversees a network of U.S. national labs that conduct biological research.
What have other agencies said? U.S. intelligence agencies are still divided on the origin of the virus, but the FBI said it has “moderate confidence” that the virus came from a lab. Several other agencies believe the virus had a natural source or remain undecided. The Energy Department shared its information with other agencies, but they did not change their conclusions. None of the agencies listed in the report believe the leak was part of a Chinese biological weapons program.
Dig deeper: Read John Dawson’s report in Beginnings on how the response to COVID-19 may have eradicated some influenza strains.
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