The Energy Department says it now believes a lab leak in China is most likely the cause of the COVID 19 pandemic. Now, before now, the department said it was undecided on how the virus emerged. It cites updated intelligence for this new assessment.
Now a caveat. Sources tell CNN the Energy Department has just low confidence in these findings. China, predictably, is furious and pushing back. David Culver joins us now. So, David,.
You were in Wuhan in China in January of 2020 where the first COVID cases were detected. There was a theory back then that the virus had emerged at a massive food market there and then travel to animals. Tell us.
About how China is now responding, though, to this new report. You hit it, Brianna, when you said that they're not happy with it. This infuriates them. This is one of the most sensitive issues for the Chinese government. And it's been so sensitive.
Going back to, say, April 20, 20 a few months after the initial outbreak that they launched this relentless propaganda campaign to try to counter the narrative, to try to sow doubt and deflect blame. And it seems to have been mostly successful within China.
And that it's muddied the waters there. But their reaction a few hours ago from the foreign ministry is one of the we've really, quite frankly, seen many times before, and that is they're telling the US.
To stop smearing China and to stop politicizing the issue. Also worth noting in that response from the foreign ministry today, they point out the W.H.O. conclusion after their field visit in 2021 and they say that the W.H.O. field team determined.
That it was highly unlikely that a lab leak was the origin of COVID 19. That is true. The W.H.O. field team did say that and in their conclusion to that field visit the issue is the unknown Victor.
That also went on to ask for a second follow up field visit. And the Chinese said, no, that's not going to happen. They did not let that team back into Wuhan, China. And we're hearing from some of those scientists who are part of that.
And they told me early on that they had asked for data from some of the Chinese officials who were on the ground and that data was never handed over to them. Would cover thank you for.
The reporting and stay with us here. CNN national security analyst Juliette Kayyem is joining the conversation. She's the former assistant secretary of the Department of Homeland Security. Juliette, how much credence should people give a most likely report from the Energy Department.
In which they only have low confidence Right. Not much. And I'll just be clear here. You have to look at the totality of the intelligence community's assessment. So it may be confusing to people who haven't been in this world. I've been a consumer of intelligence.
My entire career. So you have four. So so what happens when there's a question like this is different intelligence communities assess what they know and what they've determined. You are going to rely on the Expertize of certain intelligence.
Agencies over another. So a perfect example is a maritime threat. You're going to lean more heavily on the Coast Guard than you would say on TSA. On an aviation threat. So right now, here's the scorecard, so to speak.
You have the Department of Energy at low confidence, the FBI at medium confidence for intelligence agencies. More likely than not on the natural release side and an overall national intelligence review Also in the state,.
Most likely that it was natural. These are all caveated. And so we don't know. I mean, the truth is we don't know. But the idea that that in energy department switch to low confidence is changes that calculation or should be used.
Politically is just it's a misunderstanding. Of how the intelligence works. So, Juliette, how should we read these qualifiers then? Because the FBI had deemed this moderate confidence that this began in a lab. And now we have this information.
From the Department of Energy. Low confidence. Right. So. So these are all just levels of caveat. In because intelligence is is something that has to be consumed and then assessed by analysis. So here's where I start.
Not a single intelligence community member nor the W.H.O. believes that it is purposeful bioterrorism. I want to make that clear because it is this report is being manipulated to suggest that China was purposeful.
All the lab leak theory is also an accidental theory, no matter who you ask. It is that someone got infected in the lab and then it starts to spread. So between the lab leak and and and natural causes.
The second point is we won't know because China, of course, views this as as a threat to whatever narrative they were, the narrative that they want to put out. So we don't have full transparency. And so the question now is, what do we do with this? Why does this matter?.
What matters obviously because you're going to want labs to be safer and and to know what had happened. Does it change? Does it change a narrative about how each individual country responded? Probably not.
And the reason why we want to be careful about how we interpret this is because as we're reporting, China's reaction does matter. I mean, you know, I mean, if this was a lab leak, it's very different to them than if this was in, say,.
A market or natural causes. So but I'm maybe I've been in this role too long. I'm comfortable in the space of we don't know yet, but the totality of the intelligence community believes more likely that it was natural causes.
And all of the intelligence community believes that it was not bioterrorism. David, talk to us more about Guha. And you've been there three times since the initial outbreak. Talk to us about the research labs there. There's more than one. There are there there are several and two.
In particular, Victor, that have gotten the focus of those who are skeptical of how the Chinese have handle this. And to Juliette's point, the idea that this was manufactured and intentional, that this lab leak then is the source of COVID 19.
And that this is what the origin theory is rooted in. You can put that aside and you can say perhaps it is accidental. And then the amplification in point where it was really that initial outbreak was that market. But when you look at the labs, I think this is really important.
You have to look at the circumstantial evidence of where they're located. One of them is about a 30 minute drive, the Wuhan Institute of Virology. From that first amplification point, the market, the other just two blocks away. And the other thing.
That is undeniable that all of this is the early handling or mishandling from the Chinese government. I mean, we covered this extensively. There was the silencing of whistleblowers, one of them being a doctor who we spoke with a few days.
Before he ultimately died from COVID 19. And he was simply trying to warn friends and family that this was a strange mystery illness going around that got screenshot at it and went very public and got him in a lot of trouble with local police.
So there was certainly from the local government in Wuhan an effort to stop the rumors, as they put it, from being spread and to keep this quiet. And that is ultimately what folks are looking at here as the real culpability factor,.
Even beyond how this started, is how it was mishandled and the cover up that followed. Yeah, I remember you covering that, Dr. David. I believe he was an ophthalmologist or something at the time, and it was just heartbreaking to see what happened to him.
Julie, I think the overall concern here is not necessarily just pointing the finger at who's to blame here. We know that this virus originated in China. We know that, unfortunately, we will see future viruses and pandemics.
To come. And the fact that China has not been transparent in terms of allowing investigators in, I think is a bigger concern. That's exactly right. And look, you don't get time.
Back in the pandemic, so. Exactly as we're all saying, whatever the genesis is, there is a moment when this can be contained and China knows that. Right. And so their failure to act we call it the squandered time, right? The January, possibly December.
The dates are still up in the air as of 2019 or January 20, 20 when they start to notice a respiratori disease that is spread very quickly and is killing. They are not transparent about that. There's there's no politics about this. They they call in the W.H.O.
They allege in early January of 2020 that they're concerned about this new outbreak but it's not causing any deaths that's just that can't possibly be true right. China was sufficiently concerned that they begin to notify.
By early January people like me who read this stuff are starting to get concerned. And so if you look at a containment period, China's lack of transparency is responsible for what happened in the two years I have no doubt about that.
Its exact genesis is still is still unknown. Yeah. Well, they're still denying that it even began in China. Juliette, and David Culver, thank you so much.
3 thoughts on “China no longer gay with US Energy Dept. file on Covid-19 beginning build”
There will not be a confusion…excepr by folks who converse the truth
If CNN won't divulge the truth, I will A bioterror virus intended for exhaust in the war in opposition to the US used to be leaked from a chemical weapons laboratory in Wuhan, China, and the virus killed folks at some level of the arena. Because it used to be a bacterial weapon virus that China had developed itself, it used to be a recent form of virus that had never been included in outdated virus data, and because it used to be an anti-personnel weapon, it killed 6.87 million folks. Incidentally, the WHO, which is in collusion with China, introduced that it chanced on no evidence after an investigation, however when the US sent a conception team to the laboratory in Wuhan, smoke used to be filmed rising from the laboratory and the evidence used to be destroyed by laboratory workers sooner than the US conception team arrived.
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