(CNN) FBI Director Christopher Wray acknowledged on Tuesday that the bureau believes the Covid-19 pandemic may have been the result of a lab accident in Wuhan, China.
In his first public comments on the FBI’s investigation into the origin of the virus during an interview with Fox News, Ray said, “The FBI has for some time assessed that the origin of the infection was a possible laboratory incident in Wuhan.”
CNN Announced in 2021Citing two sources familiar with the matter, the FBI had “moderate confidence” in the lab leak theory.
Ray’s comments come days after news from the Department of Energy A “low confidence” rating Covid-19 most likely originated from a lab leak in China, underscoring a split in the US government, where most of the intelligence community still believes Covid originated naturally in the wild, or there is still very little evidence. Judgment one way or the other.
It has been released by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence 2021 report The National Intelligence Council, along with four other unidentified agencies, assessed with low confidence that the initial Covid-19 infection “most likely resulted from natural exposure to the virus from an infected animal or close congener.”
Intelligence agencies can make estimates with low, medium, or high confidence. A low confidence estimate usually means that the information obtained is not reliable enough or is too fragmented to make a very firm analytical judgment or there is not enough information to make a very firm decision.
Ray said in the interview that the FBI has a team of experts specifically focused on the risk of biological threats falling into the “wrong hands,” including those of a “hostile nation state.”
“You’re talking about a potential leak from a Chinese government-controlled lab that killed millions of Americans,” Ray said of the coronavirus, “and that’s precisely what that capability was designed for.”
Ray said most details of the FBI’s investigation are classified, and that working with the Chinese government to investigate the origins of the pandemic is difficult.
“I would observe that the Chinese government seems to me to be doing everything in its power to thwart and confuse the work here,” said the bureau director. “The work that our US government and close foreign partners do. It’s unfortunate for everybody.”
China’s foreign ministry pushed back against the energy department’s updated assessment during a briefing on Monday, with spokesman Mao Ning saying, “Related parties should stop stirring up arguments about lab leaks, stop defaming China and stop politicizing the issue of the virus’s origins . . .”
CNN’s Jeremy Herb, Natasha Bertrand, Zachary Cohen and Pamela Brown