WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) – The White House says it’s strengthening its efforts to investigate the origin of the COVID-19 pandemic after more than one U.S. agency says the pandemic may have resulted from a Wuhan lab leak.
The Department of Energy initially said that it has low confidence that the pandemic originated from a lab leak and the FBI director says his agency also believes that.
The White House says intelligence agencies are strengthening their efforts to investigate the origin of the pandemic at the direction of the president.
“The intelligence community is looking into this, this is something that the president has asked,” White House Press Secretary Karine Jean Pierre said. “He believes it’s important to get to the bottom of this, especially as we look ahead to the future and trying to prevent any future pandemics.”
Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says he’s glad the energy department and FBI have reached the same conclusion he did.
“It is now good to see that the Department of Energy has come to the same conclusion that I did, that my state department did years ago, that this leak came from a laboratory in China,” Pompeo said.
However, other intelligence agencies say they believe, also with low confidence, that the pandemic began because of natural transmission from animals to humans at a market in Wuhan.
Ohio congressman Mike Turner says the investigation is complicated by the fact that China has been less than helpful.
“There’s no direct evidence. We don’t have China admitting it, we don’t have Wuhan lab handing these things over,” Rep. Mike Turner (R-OH) said.
Some lawmakers want to pass a bill that asks the Biden administration to declassify information related to the origin of the COVID-19 pandemic.