A classified report from the US Energy Department has pointed to a leak from a lab in China as causing the global COVID-19 pandemic.
However, the report’s conclusions were made with “low confidence” but come after other US agencies have suggested that the SARS-CoV-2 virus had accidentally escaped from a lab in Wuhan where the first cases were reported.
Such reports from US agencies are made on a three-tier scale based on the quality of intelligence assessments are made on, from low to high confidence. A low confidence finding means there is either not enough information or the information is not consistent enough to make a firmer determination.
“The Department of Energy continues to support the thorough, careful, and objective work of our intelligence professionals in investigating the origins of COVID-19, as the President directed,” an Energy Department spokesperson told CNN.
Officials who spoke to The New York Times did not disclose what new intelligence the US Energy Department had acquired that had led the agency to its determination.
The Energy Department’s report comes after the FBI also determined with a higher confidence rating that the virus leaked from the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
The Office of the Director of National Intelligence said in a report in October 2021 that four other intelligence agencies determined with low confidence that the initial COVID-19 infection “was most likely caused by natural exposure to an animal” infected with the virus, most likely a bat.
National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said on CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday that divisions between the intelligence agencies remains and that the administration of President Joe Biden would share more information to Congress when it is obtained.
Theories that the virus may have leaked from the Wuhan lab have been made since the emergence of COVID-19 in 2020.
CURRENTPH NEWS SERVICE