In an interview with NPR, two U.S. intelligence officials have said that after “months of review and investigation” they determined that the lab leak hypothesis is likely the origin of the COVID-19 virus.
The two officials, who spoke anonymously due to the sensitivity of the issue, said the U.S. intelligence community has concluded that the novel coronavirus likely originated in a laboratory at the Wuhan Institute of Virology in China.
The officials did not directly accuse Chinese officials of deliberately using the virus, but they said it appears the virus had escaped from the lab. This theory is known as the lab leak hypothesis.
The U.S. intelligence community has long held the opinion that a lab leak is the most probable source of the virus. However, until now officials have not publicly stated the conclusion of their investigation.
The officials said the lab is equipped with biosafety measures at the highest level, as well as state-of-the-art security measures that prevent the release of dangerous viruses. They said that despite this, the virus appears to have been released.
The finding marks a significant shift in the narrative about the origin of COVID-19. For months, the Chinese government has maintained that the virus likely originated elsewhere, despite growing evidence to the contrary.
Now, with the U.S. intelligence community publicly backing the lab leak hypothesis, China is likely to face increasing scrutiny. It remains to be seen how China will respond to this latest development. [ad_1]
NPR’s Leila Fadel talks to Michael Gordon of The Wall Street Journal about a classified report indicating the Energy Office thinks the COVID pandemic was probably brought on by a lab leak in China.
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