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The US Department of Energy claims add fuel to the laboratory leak theory of COVID-19

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The US Department of Energy said the coronavirus pandemic most likely originated from a Chinese laboratory leak, a claim that Beijing strongly denied on Monday.

The claim also divided the various US agencies as the White House confirmed on Sunday that US intelligence remained divided on the issue.

The Wall Street Journal reported that this decision – which was contained in a confidential report by Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines – marks a shift in the Department of Energy, which previously said it was undecided about how the virus emerged.

People who read the confidential report in the Gazette and The New York Times were quoted as saying the administration made its verdict with “low confidence,” highlighting how the various agencies remain divided over the origins of COVID-19 and the pandemic that swept the globe in early 2020.

The conclusion, reportedly the result of new intelligence, is nonetheless significant because the department oversees a network of national laboratories, including some that do advanced biological research.

The department now joins the FBI in believing that the epidemic, which has claimed nearly 7 million lives, was the result of an unfortunate accident in a Chinese laboratory.

Four US intelligence agencies have reported that Covid occurred through natural transmission, while two others are undecided, the paper reported.

White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan stressed that “diverse views” on this issue remain.

“Right now, there is no definitive answer that has emerged from the intelligence community on this question,” he told CNN on Sunday.

Beijing called on the two involved to “stop making allegations about laboratory leaks, stop smearing China, and stop politicizing the issue of traceable origin.”

“No laboratory leak has been found through the reliable scientific conclusions reached by joint experts from China and the World Health Organization,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Mao Ning said at a regular briefing.

In mid-February, the World Health Organization (WHO) vowed to do everything possible “until we get an answer” about the origins of COVID, denying a report suggesting the agency had abandoned its investigation.

In a series of scientific papers published last July, researchers analytically identified the Huanan Wholesale Seafood Market in Wuhan as the epicenter of the epidemic, and flatly denied other possibilities of origins, particularly conspiracy theories.

The scientific community considers it crucial to identify the origins of a pandemic in order to combat or even prevent the next pandemic.

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