A new Senate report concludes that the likely origin of the pandemic was a lab leak in Wuhan, China, the latest government-led assessment in recent months to make the same conclusion.
“The preponderance of information affirms the plausibility of a research-related incident that was likely unintentional resulting from failures of biosafety containment during vaccine-related research,” said the report, which was the result of an investigation led by former senator Richard Burr.
The report, a copy of which was obtained by Axios, points to biosafety issues in Wuhan and the behavior of the virus in its early stages as indicators of a lab origin. It looked at the other widely cited possible origin of animal transfer but concluded the lab leak is stronger.
The release of the report comes weeks after federal agencies also endorsed the lab leak theory. The Energy Department in February admitted that the pandemic likely emerged from a lab. The same month, the FBI said it has long known the lab leak theory was “most likely.”
The lab origin was a known possibility since the beginning of the pandemic, but officials sought to suppress it. Former White House medical adviser Anthony Fauci, who recently said he still thinks adults should get COVID boosters “at least once a year,” commissioned a report in February 2020 to dismiss the lab leak theory. Two months later, he cited the report during a White House press conference and pretended to not know the authors.
The National Institute of Healths funded organizations that gave money to the Wuhan lab, specifically for the risky gain of function research that may have been the source of the pandemic virus.
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