(The Center Square) – COVID-19 likely spread due to a mishap at a Chinese laboratory, the U.S. Energy Department stated according to a Wall Street Journal report that said it got its information from a classified intelligence report that was given to the White House and members of Congress.
The Wall Street Journal noted that the Energy Department had previously stated it was not certain how the virus emerged. The shift was cited in an update to a 2021 document published by the office of Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines.
NBC News followed with its own report that the Energy Department concluded with “low confidence” that the pandemic started due to a laboratory leak in Wuhan, China. NBC News cited two sources with “direct knowledge” of the situation.
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, many in the media have labeled claims that COVID-19 came from a lab in Wuhan, China, as misinformation.
The Washington Post reported May 25, 2021, “The possibility that the coronavirus emerged from a lab was quickly dismissed by scientists in early 2020.”
USA Today reported on March 21, 2020, “Suggestions that coronavirus was manmade or engineered for use in Chinese bioweapons are false.” In February 2021, USA Today updated the story to alter its ruling to “partly false” to reflect “current information.”
The classified report, NBC reported, says that the consensus was that COVID-19 was not the result of a bioweapon but that the leak was an “accident,” citing an anonymous source.
“I’m 100% CONVINCED that the virus was made in the Wuhan lab,” Ronny Jackson, a physician and U.S. Congressman from Texas, posted on Twitter. “We’re going to uncover the cover-up. We’re going to find out how tied Fauci was to funding this. We’re going to find out EVERYTHING about the origins of Covid!!”
Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases until he retired at the end of 2022, told NBC’s “Meet The Press” in November 2022 he had a “completely open mind” about the origin of COVID-19.
Fauci said that respected virologists had strong evidence the virus jumped from animals to humans, according to Politico.
However, in May 2020 Fauci told National Geographic “the best evidence shows the virus behind the pandemic was not made in a lab in China.”
National Geographic reported, “Based on the scientific evidence, he [Fauci] also doesn’t entertain an alternate theory – that someone found the coronavirus in the wild, brought it to a lab, and then it accidentally escaped.”
Nate Silver, founder of FiveThirty Eight that does opinion poll analysis, criticized the suppression of discussion on whether COVID originated from a lab.
“The behavior of a certain cadre of scientists who used every trick in the book to suppress discussion of this issue is something I’ll never forget,” Silver tweeted. “A huge disservice to science and public health. They should be profoundly embarrassed.”