Report: Energy Department shifts assessment on COVID origin to a 'likely' Wuhan lab leak
NPR's Leila Fadel talks to Michael Gordon of The Wall Street Journal about a classified report indicating the Energy Department believes the COVID pandemic was likely caused by a lab leak in China.
In a classified intelligence document reported by The Wall Street Journal, the U.S. Department of Energy revised its undecided position on the source of the COVID-19 pandemic to "likely" originating from an unintentional lab leak in China.
According to the Journal article, written by reporters Michael Gordon and Warren P. Strobel, the Energy Department's intelligence report was recently provided to the White House and key members of Congress.
The shift by the Energy Department, which previously was undecided on how the virus emerged, is noted in an update to a 2021 document by Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines’s office.
According to the New York Times, some officials briefed on the intelligence said that it was relatively weak and that the Energy Department’s conclusion was made with “low confidence,” suggesting its level of certainty was not high.
The report joins a mix of U.S. intelligence agency judgments on COVID origins.
Click here to listen to NPR's Leila Fadel's interview with Gordon about his report.