U.S. intelligence report suggests government divided on COVID-19 lab leak theory

The WIV is situated in Wuhan, the spot where officials first identified the virus.

Published: June 23, 2023 9:39pm

Updated: July 19, 2023 7:59am

U.S. officials on Friday released an intelligence report on the COVID-19 pandemic after Congress directed them to declassify intelligence related to the Wuhan Institute of Virology, a theorized origin point for the virus.

The report indicates that several intelligence agencies maintain the belief that the virus was transferred from animals to humans, the Associated Press reported. Most of the agencies remain unnamed, but include the National Intelligence Council and four others. Both the Department of Energy and the FBI believe it originated as the result of a lab leak. The CIA and one other agency have not reached a conclusion.

The report does not assess the merits of either theory.

The WIV is situated in Wuhan, the spot where officials first identified the virus. Supporters of the lab leak theory were long maligned as conspiracy theorists, though the DoE and FBI assessments have since lent greater credibility to the notion.

Reports of the DOE finding emerged in February of this year, stating that the agency had determined with "low confidence" that the virus originated in a lab. The FBI reached the same conclusion with "moderate confidence" in 2021. FBI Director Christopher affirmed that position this year, saying "[t]he FBI has for quite some time now assessed that the origins of the pandemic are most likely a potential lab incident in Wuhan."

Ben Whedon is an editor and reporter for Just the News. Follow him on Twitter.

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