The agency’s head accused Beijing of “foiling” investigations into the source of the global pandemic.
FBI Director Christopher Wray has claimed Covid-19 “in all probability” was created as a result of a leak from a Chinese government lab, citing an agency review. The allegation follows reports of a classified briefing by the Energy Department, which also claimed the pathogen may have originated in a lab.
Speaking to Fox News for an interview that aired Tuesday, Wray was asked to comment on the emergence of the global health crisis, responding that his agency is confident that the virus will have emerged from a lab in Wuhan by the end of 2019. China escaped.
“The FBI has long determined that the origin of the pandemic is most likely a possible laboratory incident in Wuhan. Here you are talking about a possible leak from a laboratory controlled by the Chinese government. he said. Wray added that the virus has been killed “millions of Americans” And “that’s exactly what that capability was designed for.”
The agency took the extra step of turning Wray’s comments into a series of tweets, apparently hoping to bolster the director’s claims online. He offered no evidence to support his claims, but told Fox’s Bret Baier that most of the details surrounding the FBI investigation are “classified.”
Wray went on to accuse the Chinese government of “doing their best to try and thwart and obscure the work here”, citing investigations by US federal agencies and “foreign partners”, but did not describe the alleged attempts to obstruct the probes.
The director’s comments came on the heels of a report published this weekend in the Wall Street Journal citing a classified intelligence briefing recently seen by the White House and senior lawmakers. The message noted that the Energy Department had changed its stance on the origin of the virus and now believes Covid-19 likely originated from the Wuhan lab. However, the department only came to that conclusion with “little trust”, added the report, which also stated that four other federal agencies remain convinced that the pathogen jumped to humans through natural transmission, not accidental exposure in a lab setting.
A previous assessment released in 2021 by the Director of National Intelligence indicated that the FBI had “moderate confidence” in laboratory leak theory, while the Energy Department was still in doubt at the time. Officials reached by the Journal said the change in position was a result of “new intelligence”, though they declined to provide additional details.
A team led by the World Health Organization (WHO) traveled to China in 2021 to investigate the origin of the virus. “extremely unlikely.” Beijing, for its part, has dismissed the leak’s claim as a baseless rumor at best, and a coordinated attempt to tarnish China’s international image at worst. “open and transparent” with researchers investigating the cause of the pandemic.