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According to a new report, the United States told Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom, and New Zealand about the “high likelihood” that COVID-19 may have originated from a laboratory in China. 

This disclosure happened during a meeting of the Five Eyes intelligence-sharing network, which includes these nations alongside the United States. The meeting, held in January 2021, was crucial for discussing the origins of the pandemic.

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The report, published by The Telegraph, reveals details of a previously undisclosed phone call. During this call, Mike Pompeo, the US Secretary of State at the time, shared findings that pointed toward the lab leak theory. These findings were shared with Dominic Raab, then UK Foreign Secretary, and representatives from Canada, New Zealand, and Australia. Pompeo’s presentation was based on early collected and analyzed intelligence by the US State Department during the initial outbreak of the pandemic.

“We saw several pieces of information and thought that they were, frankly, gobsmacking,” said a former official involved in gathering the intelligence.  

Additional reports have indicated that before the outbreak, the Wuhan Institute of Virology conducted controversial ‘gain of function’ research, which involves making viruses more potent or infectious to study their potential impacts. This type of research is now being considered a pivotal element supporting the lab leak theory. It was also noted that Chinese military officials had collaborated with the institute in the years leading to the pandemic and that several researchers there fell ill shortly before the virus was detected in Wuhan and wider Hubei province.


China also faced criticism for obstructing World Health Organization investigations into the lab leak theory. This included preventing WHO investigators from visiting the Wuhan laboratory for over a year. 

Amidst ongoing debates and investigations into the virus’s origin, the FBI and the US Department of Energy believe that a laboratory leak is the most likely cause of the COVID-19 pandemic. At the same time, other US agencies are either unable to determine or consider a different reason for the outbreak.


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