A study classified as “Top Secret” conducted by a leading federal research institution last year concluded that the novel coronavirus could have originated and leaked from a Chinese laboratory, Sinclair Broadcast Group reported on Monday.
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The study, the existence of which was previously undisclosed, was conducted by researchers within the intelligence division at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, considered the Department of Energy’s premier biodefense research institution. It was issued May 27, 2020.
The conclusion reached by the study, which reportedly “assessed that both the lab-origin theory and the zoonotic theory were plausible and warranted further investigation,” counters recent reports from World Health Organization investigators.
After a joint WHO-Chinese team spent four weeks studying the origin of the virus in Wuhan earlier this year, investigators effectively dismissed the lab leak theory, calling it “extremely unlikely.” But critics, including many with the U.S. intelligence community, have voiced concerns about the integrity of the probe.