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Conspiracy theory no more: Energy Department latest to conclude COVID likely came from lab leak

The department, which oversees a network of U.S. laboratories, said the decision was made with "low confidence."

Published: February 26, 2023 9:38am

Updated: February 27, 2023 6:40am

The U.S. Energy Department reportedly concluded that the COVID-19 pandemic likely originated from a Chinese laboratory leak.

The agency was undecided about how the virus emerged but informed the White House and key members of Congress in a classified intelligence report about new evidence leading to the updated theory, The Wall Street Journal reported Sunday.

The department, which oversees a network of U.S. laboratories, said the decision was made with "low confidence," according to those who have read the report. The update was less than five pages and was not requested by Congress.

The Energy Department now joins the FBI in concluding the pandemic likely resulted from a lab leak, which the FBI determined with "moderate confidence" in 2021.

The Central Intelligence Agency still remains undecided about whether COVID was leaked from a lab or was naturally transmitted.

The Chinese government has denied that COVID originated from one of its labs, even as the virus first appeared in Wuhan no later than fall 2019. 

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