No ‘definitive answer’: White House quick to dispute WSJ bombshell that COVID likely came from lab leak

The White House was keen to issue a takedown on what was purported to be one of President Joe Biden’s own agencies announcing its stance on the COVID lab leak theory, but made sure to leave the door open to take credit later on.

(Video: CNN)

Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union,” White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan joined Dana Bash to pontificate on behalf of the president on matters like the current state of the conflict in Ukraine, including China’s potential involvement therein. The host also sought clarity on the administration’s opinion as it pertained to a new report contending COVID-19 did not simply occur in nature but rather, as long suspected, was the result of a research run afoul.

“I want to ask about a new Wall Street Journal report out this morning that a classified intelligence report from the Department of Energy concludes that the coronavirus pandemic most likely did not emerge naturally, but it did come from a laboratory leak,” Bash said. “Did the coronavirus pandemic start in a lab? Is that what you believe now?”

Sullivan offered the host a pregnant pause before he hedged about “a variety of views in the intelligence community.”

The onetime deputy chief of staff to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton went on to note, “If we gain any further insight or information, we will share it with Congress, and we will share it with the American people. But right now, there is not a definitive answer that has emerged from the intelligence community on this question.”

Sullivan’s take came after the U.S. Department of Energy joined the FBI in taking the conclusive position that COVID-19 had in fact leaked from a lab. The previously covered report from The Wall Street Journal stated, “The Energy Department’s conclusion is the result of new intelligence and is significant because the agency has considerable scientific expertise and oversees a network of U.S. national laboratories, some of which conduct advanced biological research.”

Of course, the intelligence community had proven how reliable they could be when 51 of its top officials were themselves discredited for their complicity in suppressing the magnitude of the Hunter Biden laptop story.

To that end, Sullivan appeared reluctant to actually take a position on the DoE’s findings, instead attempting to allow for future political expediency to determine where the administration will stand, and for Biden to be able to take the credit for it as well.

“Here’s what I can tell you. President Biden has directed, repeatedly, every element of our intelligence community to put effort and resources behind getting to the bottom of this question,” Sullivan contended. “And one of the things in that Wall Street Journal report, which I can’t confirm or deny, but I will say the reference to the Department of Energy, President Biden specifically requested that the national labs, which are part of the Department of Energy, be brought into this assessment, because he wants to put every tool at use to be able to figure out what happened here.”

The government’s response to COVID remains one of the key focuses of the Republican controlled House as investigations are also underway to pinpoint the source. Should a “definitive answer,” as Sullivan said, be determined, it remains to be seen what form accountability might take.


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