The statement – which appears in a report considered confidential by Avril Haines, director of national intelligence – represents a change in attitude by the Department of Energy, which was previously undecided about the origin of the virus.
The United States Department of Energy believes that the coronavirus pandemic probably emerged after a leak in a Chinese laboratory, but the White House said on Sunday that the American intelligence service is divided on the issue.
The statement – which appears in a report considered confidential by Avril Haines, director of national intelligence – represents a change in the attitude of the Department of Energy, which was previously undecided about the origin of the virus.
People who had access to the confidential report, quoted by the Wall Street Journal and New York Times, said the department made the judgment with “low confidence”, underscoring how different US agencies remain divided over the origins of covid-19, the pandemic that shook the world in early 2020.
In this way, the Department of Energy joins the FBI in believing that the pandemic, which caused nearly seven million deaths worldwide, was the result of an accident in a laboratory in China.
Four American intelligence agencies believe that the covid arose by natural transmission, while two others remain undecided, according to the Wall Street Journal.
White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan emphasized that “various viewpoints” persist on the issue. “At this time there is no definitive answer that has emerged from the intelligence community on this issue,” he told CNN on Sunday.
China vehemently rejected the US Department of Energy’s hypothesis and urged those involved to “stop vilifying China and stop politicizing the issue of origin tracing”.
“A laboratory leak was not considered possible by authoritative scientific conclusions presented by a team of experts from China and the WHO,” said foreign ministry spokesman Mao Ning.
A few weeks ago, the World Health Organization promised to do everything possible “until an answer is found” about the origin of the covid while denying the information that suggested that the WHO had abandoned the investigation. The scientific community considers it crucial to determine the origins of the pandemic in order to combat and even prevent the next one.
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