Home / News / World /  Chinese laboratory leak most likely cause of Covid-19 pandemic: US classified report

The coronavirus pandemic most likely was caused by a leak in a Chinese laboratory, a classified intelligence report of the US Energy Department has revealed, according to the Wall Street Journal. 

With this, the US Energy Department joins the investigative findings by the Federal Bureau of Investigation that the virus likely spread via a mishap at a Chinese laboratory. 

The US Energy Department had noted the update that the global pandemic, that saw millions die, brought the globe to a halt with a lockdown and changed life as we know it, was caused by the leak in the Chinese laboratory in the year 2021; a significant shift from its previous stance of remaining undecided. 

The Energy Department made its judgment with “low confidence," the WSJ report read. However, the report by the US Energy Department holds significance as this is an agency with expertise in scientific theories and it also oversees a network of US national laboratories. 

The FBI previously came to the conclusion that the pandemic was likely the result of a lab leak in 2021 with “moderate confidence" and still holds to this view.

This report nonetheless, affirms that the covid pandemic was a leak, an accident and not part of Chinese biological-weapons program, the people who have read the classified report said to WSJ

Start of the Covid pandemic: A Recap

The coronavirus was first reported in the the Wuhan province of China in November 2019, according to the US Intelligence Classified report. The pandemic’s origin has been the subject of vigorous, sometimes partisan debate among academics, intelligence experts and lawmakers.

An outbreak at a seafood market in Wuhan had initially been thought to be the source of the virus, but some scientists and Chinese public-health officials now see it as an example of community spread rather than the place where the first human infection occurred, the 2021 intelligence community report said.

The virus then spread to all parts of the world causing widespread deaths and lockdown that affected economies, normalcy in everyday existence. 

China, which has placed limits on investigations by the World Health Organization, has disputed that the virus could have leaked from one of its labs and has suggested it emerged outside China.

Source of Covid-19 pandemic

Perceptions and reports have often tied the source of the pandemic to China, considering the fact that no animal source has been confirmed and that Wuhan is the center of China’s extensive coronavirus research. 

Intelligence analysts who have supported that view give weight to “the precedent of past novel infectious disease outbreaks having zoonotic origins," the flourishing trade in a diverse set of animals that are susceptible to such infections, and their conclusion that Chinese officials didn’t have foreknowledge of the virus, the 2021 report said.

Wuhan as China's bio-lab province

The WSJ report states that Wuhan is home to an array of laboratories, many of which were built or expanded as a result of China’s traumatic experience with the initial severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS, epidemic beginning in 2002. 

They include campuses of the Wuhan Institute of Virology, the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Wuhan Institute of Biological Products, which produces vaccines.

The debate over whether Covid-19 might have escaped from a laboratory has been fueled by US intelligence that three researchers from the Wuhan Institute of Virology became sick enough in November 2019 that they sought hospital care.


Catch all the Business News, Market News, Breaking News Events and Latest News Updates on Live Mint. Download The Mint News App to get Daily Market Updates.
More Less
Recommended For You
Get alerts on WhatsApp
Set Preferences My ReadsWatchlistFeedbackRedeem a Gift CardLogout