The Covid-19 pandemic has created a great deal of mystery and speculation over the origin of the virus and how it spread so quickly around the world. In recent weeks, US intelligence agencies have come to diametrically opposed conclusions on the matter, with some agencies such as the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) assessing that the virus likely originated from a lab leak, while others such as the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Security Council (NSC) continue to hold the position that the virus likely originated from natural sources.
The US Energy Department has now joined the former camp, assessing that Covid-19 likely originated from a lab leak. The department, which is tasked with managing the nation’s nuclear weapons arsenal and nuclear energy programs, conducted a review of the available scientific evidence and concluded that the virus likely came from a lab leak. Department’s assessment is based on a variety of factors, including the fact that the virus was found to have genetic sequences that were not found in nature and that the virus had some similarities to other virus strains that have been used in research.
The Energy Department’s assessment has further deepened the divide between the US intelligence community on the origin of Covid-19. While some agencies have accepted the lab leak assessment, others remain unconvinced and continue to hold the view that the virus likely originated from natural sources. This divide has caused a great deal of tension within the US intelligence community, with some agencies accusing others of politicizing the issue.
The US government has yet to make a final determination on the origin of Covid-19. It is possible that the government could make a decision based on the assessment from the Energy Department and other US intelligence agencies, or it may choose to wait for further evidence before reaching a conclusion. In either case, the divide between the US intelligence community on this issue is likely to remain for the foreseeable future.