The U.S. Department of Energy has concluded that the COVID-19 pandemic most likely originated from a lab leak, according to a classified intelligence report recently released to the White House and key members of Congress, The Wall Street Journal reported.
That's reportedly in a 2021 update to the document from the office of Director of National Intelligence Avril Haynes.
A new report highlights how different parts of the intelligence community have come to different conclusions about the origins of the pandemic. "The Department of Energy now joins the Federal Bureau of Investigation in saying the virus likely spread through an accident in a Chinese lab. Four other agencies, along with a national intelligence group, still believe it was likely the result of natural transmission, while two do not decided", - writes the publication.
The U.S. Department of Energy's finding is the result of new intelligence and is significant because the agency has significant scientific expertise and oversees a network of U.S. national laboratories, some of which conduct cutting-edge biological research.
According to people who have read the classified report, the US Department of Energy concluded with a "low probability".
The FBI previously concluded with "moderate confidence" that the pandemic likely resulted from a leak from the lab in 2021, and still stands by that view.
Jake Sullivan, the US president's national security adviser, neither denied nor confirmed the WSJ's data, but emphasized that President Joe Biden has repeatedly instructed the US intelligence services to investigate the coronavirus pandemic. There are mixed views within the US intelligence community, Sullivan said, and several intelligence agencies have said they don't have enough information to draw firm conclusions.
The WHO will continue until it finds answers to how the COVID-19 pandemic began, the agency's chief said after announcing that it had ended the search.