US Energy Department Assesses With ‘Low Confidence' COVID-19 May Have Originated From Chinese Lab Leak

The intelligence community is still in disagreement about the origins of Covid

security personnel stand guard outside the Wuhan Institute of Virology in Wuhan
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The Energy Department concluded with "low confidence" that the Covid-19 pandemic "likely" originated from a laboratory leak in Wuhan, China, according to a classified report delivered to key lawmakers on the House and Senate Intelligence Committees, two sources with direct knowledge told NBC News.

Key lawmakers on the intelligence committees were briefed last month by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence about the classified report, the sources said.

However, one source cautioned to NBC News that the DOE's conclusion was not being viewed as hugely significant among the intelligence community due to interagency disagreements about Covid’s origins.

The classified report maintains the consensus that Covid-19 was not the result of a Chinese bioweapon, a U.S. official said. In its assessment, the Energy Department also described the “likely” laboratory-related leak as an "accident," the official added.

A Department of Energy spokesperson told NBC News that the agency “continues to support the thorough, careful, and objective work of our intelligence professionals in investigating the origins of COVID-19, as the President directed.”

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