Paul calls for declassifying documents showing that COVID came from Chinese lab
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), the ranking member of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, says the Biden administration should declassify classified documents showing that scientists at the Department of Energy believe COVID-19 leaked from a lab in Wuhan, China.
“Classified documents leaked (they should be declassified!) showing scientists at DOE believe COVID leaked from Wuhan Lab,” Paul tweeted on Monday, circulating a Wall Street Journal story published over the weekend reporting the Energy Department has concluded the COVID-19 pandemic likely came from a lab leak.
The Journal reported the Energy Department concluded the pandemic arouse from a mishap at a Chinese lab based on new intelligence. It matches the FBI’s conclusion from a 2021 analysis that the pandemic originated from a lab leak. The Energy Department study reportedly offered the conclusion with low confidence.
The U.S. intelligence community is split on the conclusion that the deadly virus leaked from a Chinese lab. Four other federal agencies believe that it likely jumped to humans from an animal host outside a lab. Those findings are also reportedly made with low confidence.
The CIA hasn’t made a judgment on whether the virus sprung from a lab or naturally from another animal host.
Paul is not the only U.S. senator pushing to see the intelligence and make it public.
Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) said on Sunday that he will introduce legislation to declassify intelligence findings about the likely origin of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has resulted in more than 1 million deaths in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“The American people deserve the full truth about #COVID origins. No more whitewash. I will again introduce legislation to make the U.S. government’s intelligence reports on COVID more open to the public,” Hawley tweeted.
The Journal reported that the Department of Energy and the FBI concluded that the pandemic started from a lab leak for different reasons. The CIA hasn’t made a judgment on whether the virus sprung from a lab or naturally from another animal host.
Wuhan, which is located about 500 miles west of Shanghai, is home to the Wuhan Institute of Virology and the Wuhan Institute of Biological Products.
Chinese authorities in 2021 refused to cooperate with a World Health Organization effort to study the possibility that COVID-19 leaked from a lab.
Zeng Yixin, the vice minister of China’s National Health Commission, has dismissed the possibility that COVID-19 originated in a Chinese lab.
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