U.S. Energy Department Assesses: WASHINGTON -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 that was sent to the top lawmakers of the House and Senate Intelligence Committees, two sources who have direct knowledge of the situation said to NBC News.
The top lawmakers on the committees on intelligence were informed in the last month in The Office of the Director of National Intelligence regarding the report classified, sources claimed.
The story was first reported via The Wall Street Journal on Sunday.
However, a source advised in NBC News that the DOE’s conclusion was not seen as a significant factor in the intelligence community because of differences between the agencies regarding Covid’s source.
An official 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.”
Senator. Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska On Sunday, he called for “extensive public hearings” if the U.S. intelligence community conclusively finds that Covid-19 was leaking from a Chinese laboratory.
When asked on NBC News’ “Meet the Press” about what consequences would be if you or the U.S. makes that determination and later discovers that the truth was concealed through Chinese officials, Sullivan said that Chinese Government, Sullivan said that lawmakers should begin by “have public hearings on this and really dig into it.”
“Think about what has occurred in the last three years. It was one of the largest pandemics of the last century. There is a lot of evidence to suggest that it’s being brought on by the Chinese,” Sullivan said.
China has denied the idea that Covid was a result of a laboratory leak, before calling the theory to be a “conspiracy.”
House Republicans have begun their own investigations into the causes of this pandemic.
The ODNI has responded to a Feb. 13 letter sent by Reps. James Comer, chairman of the Oversight Committee, and Brad Wenstrup Chair of the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic and requesting “information about the origins of COVID-19,” an official spokesperson from the Oversight Committee told NBC News Sunday. The Oversight Committee will be “reviewing the classified information provided,” the spokesperson added.
U.S. Energy Department Assesses COVID -The White House referred NBC News to ODNI to discuss the matter.
When asked about the confidential report the Sunday of last week, White House national security advisor Jake Sullivan said that “there is not a definitive answer” from the intelligence community about the source of Covid.
“There is a range of viewpoints within this intelligence group. Certain elements within the intelligence sector have come to conclusion on one side while others have a different view. Many of them have claimed that they do not have enough data to make a definitive conclusion,” Jake Sullivan said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
“If we gain any further insight or information, we will share it with Congress, and we will share it with the American people,” Jake Sullivan added. “But right now, there is not a definitive answer that has emerged from the intelligence community on this question.”