FBI director Wray says COVID origin 'most likely' a Wuhan lab 'incident'

 March 1, 2023

FBI Director Christopher Wray told Fox News host Bret Baier on Tuesday that while the FBI continues to investigate the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic, it "most likely" came from a lab "incident" in Wuhan. 

“So as you note, Bret, the FBI has for quite some time now assessed that the origins of the pandemic are most likely a potential lab incident in Wuhan,” he said as part of the interview.

While he was able to provide this characterization, he said that many of the details of the FBI investigation remain classified and he could not share specifics.

China trying to "thwart and obfuscate" the investigation

Wray also said that he believes Beijing is doing everything it can to interfere with the investigation and prevent leaders from finding answers about COVID origins.

“I will just make the observation that the Chinese government, it seems to me, has been doing its best to try to thwart and obfuscate the work here. The work that we’re doing, the work that our U.S. government and close foreign partners are doing. And that’s unfortunate for everybody,” he said.

Wray's comments follow days after a report from the Department of Energy that a lab leak was the most likely origin of COVID-19, although that agency said it had "low confidence" in the report.

The FBI made its assessment that the lab leak was probable public a year ago.

No "definitive answer"

White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan said there was still no "definitive answer" about COVID origins.

“There is a variety of views in the intelligence community. Some elements of the intelligence community have reached conclusions on one side, some on the other. A number of them have said they just don’t have enough information to be sure,” he said.

The House Select Committee on the Coronavirus Response will be investigating COVID origins this year.

Republicans on the House Foreign Affairs Committee already concluded last year that the virus likely escaped from a Wuhan lab.

Coincidental timing

The Wall Street Journal reported in 2021 that three Wuhan scientists sought hospital care in November 2019, according to a leaked U.S. intelligence report.

Because COVID-19 was unknown, they were not tested for the virus so officials don't know for sure that they were infected with COVID.

Epidemiologists and virologists believe that COVID-19 began to spread around Wuhan around this time, however, and the first confirmed case of the virus was December 8.

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