Washington: On Tuesday, FBI Director Christopher Wray declared that the COVID-19 pandemic was likely caused by a leak from a laboratory in Wuhan, China, according to the agency’s assessment.
Speaking to Fox News, Wray stated that “for quite some time,” the FBI has assessed that a potential lab incident in Wuhan is the most probable origin of the pandemic.
Wray’s remarks came after the Wall Street Journal report on Sunday, which disclosed that the U.S. Energy Department had assessed with low confidence that the pandemic resulted from an unintentional slab leak in China.
According to the Journal, a national intelligence panel and four other agencies believe that the pandemic most likely resulted from natural transmission. In comparison, the two agencies have not yet decided.
On Monday, White House national security spokesman John Kirby stated that the U.S. government had not reached a consensus or definitive conclusion about the pandemic’s origins.
In response to the report from the Wall Street Journal, which other U.S. media outlets corroborated, China’s foreign ministry referred to a WHO-China report that indicated a natural origin for the pandemic rather than a lab leak.
Due to its classified nature, Wray stated that he could not disclose many specifics about the agency’s assessment.
He criticized the Chinese government for attempting to hinder and obscure the efforts of the United States and other countries to gain a better understanding of the pandemic’s origins.