Business News/ News / World/  ‘No conclusion on Covid origin theory’: White House on lab leak report

A day after the US Department of Energy said the coronavirus pandemic likely arose from a Chinese laboratory leak, the White House on Monday asserted that there is no definitive conclusion on the origin of Covid-19, according to the news agency ANI. 

Speaking to media persons at a daily White House news conference, National Security Council Coordinator for Strategic Communications John Kirby said that the intelligence community and the government are still looking at the Covid-19 origin theory. 

“There's not been a definitive conclusion, so it's difficult for me to say, nor should I feel like I should have to defend press reporting about a possible preliminary indication here," he said. 

Kirby was responding to questions on the findings of the Department of Energy that a lab leak most likely caused the Covid-19 pandemic, which was first reported in The Wall Street Journal over the weekend.

He further said that President Joe Biden made trying to find Covid origin a priority right when he came into office. And he’s got a whole-of-government effort designed to do that, he said.

"The President believes it's really important that we continue that work and that we find out, as best we can, how it started so that we can better prevent a future pandemic. The idea here is to get ahead of it so that should there be another one or should there even be the signs of another one, we can better get ahead of it," he added. 

People who read the classified report on Chinese lab leak theory were quoted in the Journal and The New York Times as saying the department made its judgment with "low confidence," highlighting how different agencies remain divided over the origins of Covid-19 and the pandemic that swept the globe in early 2020.

In February, the World Health Organization pledged to do everything possible "until we get the answer" on Covid's origins, denying a report suggesting the agency had abandoned its investigation.

The scientific community sees it as crucial to determine the origins of the pandemic in order to better fight or even prevent the next one.


(With ANI inputs)

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Updated: 28 Feb 2023, 10:32 AM IST
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