February 26, 2023 – 11:23 PM
The US Department of Energy concluded that the coronavirus outbreak was most likely caused by a laboratory leak, íRTA The Wall Street Journal Citing a classified intelligence report.
There are usually two competing hypotheses regarding the Covid-19 outbreak. According to one, the virus jumped to humans via an animal, while the other said it leaked from a Chinese research laboratory. In the United States, they did not line up in favor of either theory. Prior to the Department of Energy, only the FBI supported the lab leak theory, while five other government agencies rejected it and another two did not accept either version.
According to the WSJ, the DOE’s decision is significant because this government agency oversees a network of US national laboratories, five of which conduct advanced biological research.
The department’s declassified report is said to indicate that there is a low certainty that a laboratory leak caused the outbreak, a significant departure from the FBI’s conclusion, which found moderate certainty. However, there is agreement that Covid-19 is not the result of a Chinese biological weapons programme.
An earlier 2020 report from the Department of Energy also said that the lab leak theory was plausible. This has been updated with a five page revision. According to the Wall Street Journal, it is based on recent intelligence, academic literature, and consultations with non-governmental experts.
China previously argued that Covid-19 could have leaked from one of its laboratories. Laboratories in Wuhan were often suspected of this, because one of the first hotspots of the epidemic was identified there, and three researchers from the Wuhan Institute of Virology were also among the first to need hospital care for the coronavirus.
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