September 30, 2023

National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan told CNN state of the Union on Sunday that the US intelligence community had not arrived at an answer to the origins of the Covid-19 virus, after The Wall Street Journal informed of Energy Department officials now believe it resulted from an accidental lab leak.

President Joe Biden has “repeatedly directed every element of our intelligence community to devote effort and resources to getting to the bottom of this question,” Sullivan told CNN. “Right now there is not a definitive answer on this question that has come out of the intelligence community.”

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The Journal cited classified intelligence reports recently provided to some lawmakers at the White House and on Capitol Hill.

The report said Energy now believes the virus spread after a mistake in a Chinese laboratory. The Journal reported on Sunday that the Federal Bureau of Investigation has also concluded that, while four other agencies and a national intelligence panel still believe it was diffuse in nature, and two other groups are still undecided.

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The Energy Department oversees the national laboratories, Sullivan said Sunday, though he could not confirm or deny the Journal’s report. “President Biden specifically requested that the national laboratories, which are part of the Department of Energy, be brought into this evaluation because he wants to have every tool available to find out what happened here,” he told CNN. told.

The Journal reported that the Energy Department took its decision with “low confidence,” citing people who reviewed the classified report.

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The Journal further reported that the conclusion of the Department of Energy and other agencies still supports the consensus that the virus did not originate as part of the Chinese biological-weapons program.

“There are a variety of views in the intelligence community. Some elements of the intelligence community have concluded on one side, others on the other. Many of them have said they don’t have enough information to be sure,” Sullivan said Sunday. “If we get any more insight or information, we will share it with Congress and the American people.”

Write to Liz Moyer at [email protected]