Senior Biden Officials Say COVID Lab-Leak Theory as Plausible as Natural Origin: Report

Workers in protective suits examine specimens inside a laboratory following an outbreak of the novel coronavirus in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China, February 6, 2020. (China Daily/Reuters)

Senior Biden administration officials, including national security adviser Jake Sullivan, now view the theory that the novel coronavirus leaked from a laboratory as equally plausible as a natural origin, CNN reported on Friday evening.

The report comes midway through a U.S. intelligence community review of the hypotheses for the origins of the pandemic, ordered by President Biden in May. While intelligence agencies are still divided as to whether the coronavirus first infected a human in nature or in a laboratory, the lab-leak theory has received renewed credibility in those agencies, one source familiar with the review told CNN.

“There has been a shift in their point of view,” the source said.

The shift coincides with a change in popular opinion among Americans as to the origins of the coronavirus. A bipartisan majority of Americans now believe the coronavirus leaked from a lab, including 59 percent of Republicans and 52 percent of Democrats, according to a Politico-Harvard University survey in late June.

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