A report from the U.S. Energy Department sent to the White House concludes that a lab leak was the most likely cause of the COVID-19 pandemic, proving many “conspiracy theorists” were not far off the mark.
The new report highlights how different parts of the intelligence community have arrived at disparate judgments about the pandemic’s origin. The Energy Department now joins the Federal Bureau of Investigation in saying the virus likely spread via a mishap at a Chinese laboratory. Four other agencies, along with a national intelligence panel, still judge that it was likely the result of a natural transmission, and two are undecided.
The Energy Department’s conclusion is the result of new intelligence and is significant because the agency has considerable scientific expertise and oversees a network of U.S. national laboratories, some of which conduct advanced biological research.
The Energy Department made its judgment with “low confidence,” according to people who have read the classified report.
The FBI previously came to the conclusion that the pandemic was likely the result of a lab leak in 2021 with “moderate confidence” and still holds to this view.
Conservatives shared the news on Twitter, including Senator Rand Paul (R-KY), saying “Classified documents leaked (they should be declassified!) showing scientists at DOE believe COVID leaked from Wuhan Lab.”
Classified documents leaked (they should be declassified!) showing scientists at DOE believe COVID leaked from Wuhan Lab https://t.co/glETIVPe5z
— Rand Paul (@RandPaul) February 27, 2023
Congresswoman Lauren Boebert (R-CO) expressed frustrations with Twitter’s banning of users who previously spoke about a lab leak theory.
It’s absurd how many people were completely banned from social media platforms for saying this exact same thing.
Many of them still remain banned. https://t.co/9KCQefapdB
— Lauren Boebert (@laurenboebert) February 26, 2023
And Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) took the opportunity to settle an old score with Washington Post reporter Glenn Kessler.
4 ????’s for Glenn. https://t.co/587JmvrIOE pic.twitter.com/K0pO6BPvxp
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) February 26, 2023
More over at The Wall Street Journal:
The Energy Department has concluded that the Covid pandemic most likely arose from a lab leak, according to a classified intelligence report https://t.co/mO9cnU6Egc
— The Wall Street Journal (@WSJ) February 26, 2023