Covid-19 Origin Debate Intensifies as US Energy Department Points to Lab Leak Theory - medtigo



Covid-19 Origin Debate Intensifies as US Energy Department Points to Lab Leak Theory

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The US Department of Energy has reportedly updated its classified intelligence report on the origin of the Covid-19 pandemic, stating that it is most likely the result of a laboratory leak in China. As reported by CNN, two sources found that the Department of Energy has “low confidence” that the virus accidentally escaped from a lab in Wuhan.

This latest assessment has further divided the US government, with intelligence agencies split on whether the pandemic emerged naturally or resulted from a lab leak. In 2021, a declassified report showed that four agencies in the intelligence community assessed with low confidence that the virus likely jumped from animals to humans in the wild, while one assessed with moderate confidence that the pandemic resulted from a laboratory accident.  

The Department of Energy has provided the US Congress with a new assessment of the origins of COVID-19, indicating that the theory that the virus had originated from a laboratory in Wuhan, China, is plausible. The assessment comes as Republicans on Capitol Hill push for further investigation into the lab leak theory while accusing the Biden administration of downplaying its possibility. House Foreign Affairs Chairman Mike McCaul and Republican Sen. Dan Sullivan are among those calling for public hearings on the matter.  

However, the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs has rejected the claim, pointing to the conclusion reached by Chinese and World Health Organization experts during a field mission in 2021, which deemed the lab leak hypothesis as “highly unlikely.”

National security adviser Jake Sullivan said that the intelligence community remains divided and President Joe Biden has put resources into getting to the bottom of the origin question. Biden has directed the national laboratories to be brought into the assessment. The US began exploring the possibility of COVID-19 spreading in a laboratory as early as April 2020. Still, a lack of cooperation from Beijing has made it difficult to determine the virus’s origins.  

Republican Senator Dan Sullivan of Alaska has also called for public hearings following the Department of Energy assessment disclosure. He expressed his belief that extensive hearings are necessary, and he hopes that his Democratic colleagues in Congress will support this effort. Sullivan emphasized the importance of holding the Chinese Communist Party accountable and implementing updated international regulations to prevent similar pandemics from occurring in the future.  

The House Oversight Committee, chaired by Republican James Comer of Kentucky, is currently reviewing classified information provided by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence in response to a letter requesting information earlier this month. One source has indicated that the new assessment from the Department of Energy is consistent with the findings of a House Republican Intelligence Committee report released last year on the virus’s origins. 

The ongoing debate about the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic continues to be a topic of concern for lawmakers and the public alike. While the possibility of a lab leak in Wuhan has not been definitively proven, the latest intelligence assessment has added to the mounting evidence supporting this theory, prompting calls for further investigation and accountability. 



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