FBI director: coronavirus would have arisen in a laboratory incident

Christopher Wray FBI
WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 28: FBI Director Christopher Wray speaks during a virtual news conference at the Department of Justice on October 28, 2020 in Washington, DC. Eight people have been arrested as part of "Operation Fox Hunt," an effort by China to threaten people to return to the country. (Photo by Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images)

FBI Director Christopher Wray said in an interview with Fox News on Tuesday night (02/28/2023) that he believes the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic was ” probably” caused by a leak in a laboratory in the Chinese city of Wuhan, the origin of the disease. The statement comes just two days after the US Department of Energy presented a report defending the same hypothesis.

“The FBI has maintained for quite some time that the origins of the pandemic probably lie in a possible incident at a laboratory in Wuhan,” Wray said. “I’ll just make the point that the Chinese government, it seems to me, has been doing everything possible to try to thwart the work that is being done here, the work that our US government and close foreign partners are doing. And that’s unfortunate for everyone,” he added.

The FBI director explained that his agency has specialists who focus on “the dangers of biological threats”, which include elements such as the emergence of new viruses such as SARS-CoV-2 and worry that these threats do not fall “into the wrong hands, a hostile state or nation, a terrorist or a criminal”.

Other agencies think differently

The Wall Street Journal newspaper recently published that the US Department of Energy estimates that the coronavirus “most likely” originated in a Chinese laboratory. At the same time, the newspaper recalls that four other US agencies continue to consider that the outbreak of coronavirus was the result of natural transmission, while two others are undecided.

The Chinese authorities have emphatically denied the version and describe it as a campaign against Beijing. “Tracing the origins of the coronavirus is a scientific matter and should not be politicized. The parties involved should stop inflating the theory of laboratory leaks and smearing China,” Chinese foreign spokeswoman Mao Ning said on Monday.

The scientific community considers it crucial to determine the origin of the pandemic in order to better combat or even prevent the next one.