According to media reports, the US Department of Energy has changed its assessment of the origin of the corona virus and is now assuming a possible laboratory accident. This emerges from a classified intelligence report that was recently submitted to the White House and key members of Congress, the Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday, citing unnamed sources. The New York Times later also reported on the intelligence report.
The Department of Energy is now agreeing with the FBI's assessment that the virus probably spread through a glitch in a Chinese laboratory. However, the ministry assumes this with only a “low” degree of certainty.
US President Joe Biden's national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, said Sunday that he could neither confirm nor deny the report. "At the moment there is no definitive answer from the secret services to this question," Sullivan emphasized, referring to the origin of the virus. "Some parts of the intelligence community have come to conclusions on the one hand, others have said they just don't have enough information to be sure."
Some US authorities remain of the view that the virus was likely transmitted naturally, others are undecided. According to the report, the conclusion of the Department of Energy is based on new information from the intelligence services. The two US newspapers could not find out what these findings were.
The ministry was previously undecided in its assessment, according to the Wall Street Journal. Like other US departments, the ministry has its own Intelligence and Counterintelligence Office, which is part of the US intelligence community. These trace the origin of the coronavirus.
In 2021, after several months of scrutiny, there was no agreement among US intelligence agencies on the origin of the coronavirus. Whether the virus came from a laboratory or jumped from an animal to humans remains to be seen, according to a report published at the time, in which the intelligence departments of various agencies published their assessments. China has always denied allegations of a possible laboratory accident.
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