COVID lab-leak theory grows as Energy Department joins FBI in leaning on it: WSJ

The theory that the origin of the COVID-19 pandemic can be traced back to a leak in a Chinese lab is gaining momentum, according to THE Wall Street Journal.

In an article published on Sunday, the WSJ wrote that the US Energy Department recently updated its assessment of how the novel coronavirus behind the pandemic emerged: While the department previously said it did not ‘y decision on the matter, it now calls the lab-leak theory the most. likely explanation.

The department shared its updated assessment, noting that it has little confidence, in a classified intelligence report provided to the White House and key lawmakers, according to Journalwhich mentions people who have read the report.

The department joined the FBI in supporting the lab-leak theory, while four other agencies and a national intelligence panel believed the virus emerged through natural transmission, and both were undecided. Journal wrote.

The origin of the pandemic has been hotly debated for years. The coronavirus spread in Wuhan, China, in late 2019. The city is known to have several labs—including the Wuhan Institute of Virology, the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Wuhan Institute of Biological Products—and is Considered the center of China’s coronavirus research, with many of its labs being expanded or established after the SARS epidemic in the early 2000s.

On the other hand, the city, like many others in China, is home to many wet markets, where animals are sold and slaughtered. Many scientists favor the theory that the virus emerged from such a market.

In July of last year, two broad, peer-reviewed papers on Science from an international team of scientists concluded that the coronavirus probably jumped from a caged wild animal to people in the city’s Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market. Other scientists were not involved in the study it was considered a stroke to the lab-leak theory.

“The studies exclude other hypotheses completely. But they completely push it to the animal origin,” the virologist Jeremy Kamil, of the Louisiana State University Health Shreveport, told NPR at the time.

Adding to the lab-leak theory is US intelligence that several researchers at the Wuhan Institute of Virology sought hospital care in November 2019, the Journal Noted, although a House Intelligence Committee report published in mid-December last year noted that people may have a seasonal flu.

Republican lawmakers controlled the House last month continuing investigations to the beginning of the pandemic, like their counterparts in the Senate, who kept the promises made on the campaign trail last year.

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