The US FBI is seriously considering that the coronavirus originated in a Chinese lab. FBI Director Christopher Wray told Fox News on Tuesday. These reports are fueling a heated debate about the origins of the 2020 pandemic in the United States.
According to Wray, federal investigators determined some time ago that the virus may have originated from a lab incident in Wuhan. The FBI director says he cannot release many of the investigation’s details because they are classified.
This is the first time the FBI has issued a public statement on the matter, after earlier indications that the agency was endorsing the controversial ‘lab theory’. Wray’s comments follow the conclusions of a US Department of Energy report released on Sunday. Wall Street Journal. It says the coronavirus “most likely” originated from an “accidental leak” in a Chinese laboratory. However, the department says that conclusion is not conclusive.
Four other US government agencies believe the epidemic arose as a result of natural transmission of the virus from animals to humans; The other two did not give a verdict. A spokesman says the White House has the Energy Department’s report in its hands, but the U.S. government doesn’t want to draw conclusions from it yet.
The coronavirus was first detected in Wuhan, central China, in December 2019. In the Fox interview, Ray says the Chinese government is “blocking” US research efforts into the origins of the coronavirus.
China strongly rejected Wray’s statements on Wednesday. A spokesman for the foreign ministry in Beijing said there was “no credibility”. Beijing points to a report by the World Health Organization, calling the theory that the virus was transmitted from animals to humans “most likely.” However, according to the WHO, a laboratory leak should be further investigated, which China did not allow.
The debate surrounding the latest report has also led to conspiracy theories about the origin of Covid-19. Many social media users see the conclusion that a lab leak may have caused the spread of the coronavirus as evidence of misinformation about the pandemic and measures to combat it.
A version of this article appeared in the March 2, 2023 issue of the newspaper
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