Report: Covid-19 pandemic most likely from lab leak in China
The pandemic had cost lives of more than one million Americans
The US Energy Department has reportedly concluded that Covid pandemic most likely originated from a laboratory leak, according to a classified intelligence report recently provided to the White House and key members of Congress.
The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) report stated that shift of its earlier stand by the Energy Department is noted in an update to a 2021 document by Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines's office.
With this, the Energy Department has joined the Federal Bureau of Investigation, that has earlier concluded that the pandemic was likely the result of a lab leak in 2021.
According to WSJ report quoting sources who had read the classified report, the Energy Department has made the judgment with "low confidence".
Though the US officials has declined to give details on the analysis by the Energy Department, it is known that they have arrived at those conclusions for different reasons, WSJ reported
The pandemic had cost lives of more than one million Americans.
WSJ reported that the National Intelligence Council, which conducts long-term strategic analysis...still assess with "low confidence" that the virus came about through natural transmission from an infected animal, according to the updated report by the intelligence agency.
However, the Central Intelligence Agency and other agencies remain undecided between the lab-leak and natural-transmission theories.
Since the outbreak, research and investigations has been conducted by various intelligence agencies to find out the origin behind the pandemic and a senior US intelligence official confirmed that the updated reported is the result of further study of academic literature and consultation with experts outside government.
According to WSJ report, the update is less than five pages and the lawmakers particularly House and Senate Republicans are pursuing their own investigations into the origins of the pandemic.
However, it is not known whether the classified report will be made public by the authorities.
Meanwhile US national security adviser Jake Sullivan declined to confirm or deny the Journal's report. In an interview, he had said that President Biden had repeatedly directed every part of the intelligence community to invest in trying to discern as much as possible about the origins of the pandemic.
While asked about the Energy Department's assessment, Sullivan on Sunday told sources that Congress needed to hold extensive hearings concerning the origins of the pandemic adding that China has sought to intimidate other countries from questioning whether the virus emerged naturally.
According to the US 2021 intelligence report, the Covid-19 virus first circulated in Wuhan, China, no later than November 2019.
The tensions between China and US also widened due to this.
At first the debates revolved around the natural spread of the virus emerged from the animal to a human but when the host was not found there has been greater focus on coronavirus research in Wuhan and the potential lab leak.
The Energy Department spokesman in a statement said that the agency "continues to support the thorough, careful, and objective work of our intelligence professionals in investigating the origins of Covid-19, as the President directed," reported sources.
Wuhan is home to an array of labratories, many of which were built or expanded as a result of China's traumatic experience with the initial severe acute respiratory syndrome or SARS epidemic beginning in 2002.
In May 2021, Biden directed the intelligence community to step up its efforts to investigate the origins of Covid-19.
The US intelligence community is made up of 18 agencies, including offices at the Energy, State and Treasury departments. Eight of them, along with the National Intelligence Council, participated in the Covid-origins review.