According to a recent report by The Wall Street Journal, the U.S. Energy Department has assessed that the COVID-19 pandemic likely originated from an accidental lab leak in China.
This is a change from their previous position of being undecided on the origin of the pandemic. The report cites a classified intelligence document recently given to the White House and key members of Congress, which also notes an update to a 2021 document from the Director of National Intelligence’s office.
The National Intelligence Council and four other agencies believe that the pandemic was the result of natural transmission from an infected animal, but the CIA and another agency are still undecided.
All the agencies agree that the pandemic was not caused by a Chinese bioweapons program.
On CNN Sunday, National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan acknowledged the variety of views in the intelligence community.
“There is a variety of views in the intelligence community. Some elements in the intelligence community have reached conclusions on one side. Some on the other. A number of them have said they just don’t have enough information to be sure,” Sullivan said.
“Here’s what I can tell you: President Biden has directed repeatedly every element of our intelligence community to put effort and resources behind getting to the bottom of this question,” he added. “And one of the things in that Wall Street Journal report, which I can’t confirm or deny, but I will say the reference to the Department of Energy, President Biden specifically requested that the national labs, which are a part of the Department of Energy, be brought into this assessment because he wants to put every tool at use to be able to figure out what happened here. And if we gain any further insider information, we will share it with Congress, and we will share it with the American people. But right now, there is not a definitive answer that has emerged from the intelligence community on this question.”