The United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) believes, and has "done so for some time", that the source of the Covid-19 pandemic originated from a lab in Wuhan, China, FBI Director Christopher Wray told Fox News on Tuesday.
The US domestic intelligence agency has recently revised its theory on the origin of the virus that was responsible for the death of over 6.8 million people globally. Officials report to have received new intelligence from investigators, the Wall Street Journal stated, citing anonymous sources.
In an unclassified report published by the US National Intelligence Council, which is comprised of eight government agencies, intelligence officers concluded “with low confidence” that the Covid virus “most likely was the result of a laboratory-associated incident, probably involving experimentation, animal handling, or sampling by the Wuhan Institute of Virology.”
#FBI Director Wray confirmed that the Bureau has assessed that the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic likely originated from a lab incident in Wuhan, China. pic.twitter.com/LcBVNU7vmO— FBI (@FBI) March 1, 2023
In a televised interview, Wray also accused China of trying to block a US-led investigation into the cause of the pandemic, which significantly disrupted the global economy and ground global supply chains to a halt.
“China’s cooperation most likely would be needed to reach a conclusive assessment of the origins of Covid-19. Beijing, however, continues to hinder the global investigation, resist sharing information, and blame other countries, including the United States,” the intelligence report concluded.
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Beijing has long denied any responsibility for the outbreak of the SARS-type virus. Other experts have pointed to a natural origin of the virus, potentially transmitted to humans through contact with certain exotic animals. Three of the “elements” within the intelligence committee still maintain that a natural origin was “equally likely” as lab exposure.
“The Intelligence Committee – and the global scientific community – lacks clinical samples or a complete understanding of epidemiological data from the earliest Covid-19 cases. If we obtain information on the earliest cases that identified a location of interest or occupational exposure, it may alter our evaluation of hypotheses,” the report said.