The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) exclusively reported on the 26th that the intelligence report points to the theory that the virus originated from the Wuhan Institute of Virus Research, which was initially considered a conspiracy.
The possibility of a laboratory leak causing the COVID-19 pandemic has gained further attention, as a confidential intelligence report provided to the White House and key members of Congress suggests that the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has concluded it is likely.
The theory of a laboratory leak was initially excluded from early papers on the virus’s origin when it first emerged in 2020. However, the updated intelligence report submitted to the office of National Intelligence Director, Avril Haines highlights how different parts of the intelligence community made varying judgments about the virus’s origin.
The new report points to a change in the DOE’s position, which had not previously determined how the virus emerged. The DOE now joins the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in suggesting that the virus may have been spread through an accident in a Chinese laboratory. Four other agencies and a national intelligence team still determine that it may be the result of natural transmission, while two others are uncertain.
This theory has gained more attention in the scientific community, demanding further investigation. According to Fox News, some emails of Anthony Fauci, the former chief epidemiologist of the United States, revealed last January, indicating that Fauci and Francis Collins, the former director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), had long known that the virus might have been leaked from the Wuhan Institute of Virus Research in China and may have been genetically modified.
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), which Fauci heads, is also suspected of having funded “gain-of-function” research in China to modify the virus. While the origin of the pandemic remains a topic of much debate, the new intelligence report indicates that a laboratory leak cannot be ruled out and further investigation is necessary.