Communist China lab leaked COVID-19 virus, says new classified U.S. intelligence report
The document’s findings were memorialized in an update to a 2021 document by Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines’s office, and mark a major shift in how the government was previously viewing the pandemic’s origins
February 26, 2023 10:42am
Updated: February 26, 2023 1:16pm
The global COVID-19 pandemic originated from a virology lab in run by the communist regime in China, according to a new U.S. Energy Dept. document, which was recently provided to key members of Congress and the White House, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The document’s findings, which is less than five pages long, were memorialized in an update to a 2021 document by Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines’s office, and mark a major shift in how the government was previously viewing the pandemic’s origins.
In the past, the government and mainstream media have traditionally adopted the formal CCP line that the virus originated from a nearby food market. While the new report illuminates how different components of the U.S. intelligence community have come to different conclusions about how the pandemic started, the Energy Department now joins the Federal Bureau of Investigation in saying the virus likely spread via the Wuhan Virology Laboratory.
Some other components of the U.S. intelligence community are still considering the possibility the pandemic arose from a natural transmission.
The new conclusion from the Energy Department arose from new intelligence. It is being taken more seriously than some of the other agency conclusions since DOE supervises a network of U.S. national laboratories that conduct advanced biological research.
Still, the DOE made its shift with “low confidence,” according to WSJ sources who purportedly read the classified report.
In 2021, the FBI also came to the conclusion that the pandemic was likely the result of a lab leak with “moderate confidence.”
Those levels of confidence however are not much different than prior assessments that determined the viral spread happened naturally.
“The National Intelligence Council, which conducts long-term strategic analysis, and four agencies, which officials declined to identify, still assess with “low confidence” that the virus came about through natural transmission from an infected animal, according to the updated report,” the Wall Street Journal reported.
The FBI has not shifted from its view that COVID-19 came from a lab leak since it made its assessment in 2021.
The bureau has considerable expertise in this area since it employs many immunologists, microbiologists, and other scientists. It is also a law enforcement agency that has worked with the National Bioforensic Analysis Center in Fort Detrick, Maryland in viral crises such as the 2004 anthrax biological threat.
Senior U.S. officials reportedly declined to offer further insight as to why the DOE and FBI came to the conclusions they did, but that they did so for different reasons.
Since the COVID-19 epidemic began more than three years ago, more than one million Americans have died.
The Central Intelligence Agency and another agency that officials wouldn’t name remain undecided between the lab-leak and natural-transmission theories, the people who have read the classified report said.
“Despite the agencies’ differing analyses, the update reaffirmed an existing consensus between them that Covid-19 wasn’t the result of a Chinese biological-weapons program, the people who have read the classified report said,” the WSJ reported.
Wuhan is the base for several laboratories, many of which were constructed after China’s tragic encounter with the 2002 severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS.
Those labs include the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the Wuhan Institute of Biological Products, which produces vaccines, and the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
An initial outbreak at a seafood market in Wuhan created intense suspicion early on as the culprit for the viral spread, but some scientists and even Chinese public-health officials now believe that may just be one of the locations where the virus spread after it leaked from the lab, the 2021 intelligence community report said.
President Biden ordered the intelligence community to investigate the origins of COVID-19 in May 2021,and pledged to keep Congress informed of their discoveries.
An October 2021 report determined that there was a growing sense COVID-19 was not the result of a biological weapons program, but it did not eliminate the possibility the virus originated from a lab leak or an animal.
The U.S. intelligence community is made up of 18 agencies, eight of which participated in the COVID-19 origins review with the National Intelligence Council.