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These Biden administration agencies have admitted COVID lab leak is plausible

Source image: https://www.foxnews.com/politics/these-biden-admin-agencies-have-admitted-covid-lab-leak-plausible

Federal agencies in the Biden administration are admitting that the COVID-19 virus may have originated from a Chinese lab leak despite outrage at the start of the pandemic that dismissed the lab leak theory as a conspiracy.

The so-called “lab leak theory” suggesting COVID came from an accidental lab leak at the Wuhan Institute of Virology in Wuhan, China, was widely dismissed as “misinformation” by Democrats, major news outlets, scientists and social media companies in the early stages of the pandemic.

Here’s where Biden’s federal and intelligence agencies stand today on the lab leak theory.

FBI DIRECTOR SAYS COVID PANDEMIC ‘MOST LIKELY’ ORIGINATED FROM CHINESE LAB

FBI

FBI Director Chris Wray told Fox News’ Bret Baier this week that COVID-19 “most likely” came from a Chinese lab.

“The FBI has for quite some time now assessed that the origins of the pandemic are most likely a potential lab incident in Wuhan,” Wray told Fox News in an interview that aired Tuesday. “Here you are talking about a potential leak from a Chinese government-controlled lab.

FBI Director Chris Wray told Fox News' Bret Baier this week that COVID-19

FBI Director Chris Wray told Fox News’ Bret Baier this week that COVID-19 “most likely” came from a Chinese lab. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

“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.”

CCP GOVERNMENT ‘INTENTIONALLY RELEASED’ COVID-19 ‘ALL OVER THE WORLD,’ CHINESE VIROLOGIST SAYS

Department of Energy

The Energy Department, which had been undecided on the origin of the pandemic, concluded that the coronavirus most likely spread due to a mishap at a Chinese laboratory, according to The Wall Street Journal, which cited a classified intelligence report provided to the White House and “key members of Congress.”

According to the Journal, DOE’s conclusion is the result of “new intelligence,” and the judgment was made with “low confidence.”

The agency is tasked with oversight of many of the government’s laboratories, including those that “conduct advance biological research,” the report said.

The shift in the Energy Department’s stance was reportedly noted in a classified 2021 document that was updated by Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines’ office.

Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm.

Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm. (REUTERS/Mary F. Calver/File Photo)

National Intelligence Council 

Beyond the FBI and Energy Department, the National Intelligence Council and four other unnamed agencies assess at “low confidence” that the COVID-19 pandemic originated due to natural transmission from an infected animal, according to the Journal.

The CIA and another unnamed agency are reportedly still undecided.

HOUSE DEMS SIGNAL OPPOSITION TO DECLASSIFYING INFO ON COVID-19 ORIGINS

Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI)

The ODNI has not made an assessment about a lab leak, but in a separate declassified assessment on the origins of COVID-19 in October 2021, ODNI said SARS-CoV-2 was “probably not a biological weapon.” 

“We remain skeptical of allegations that SARS-CoV-2 was a biological weapon because they are supported by scientifically invalid claims,” it added.

Republican members of the House Intelligence Committee alleged in a report released in December 2022 that there are “indications” COVID-19 could be tied to China’s biological weapons research program and “spilled over” to the general human population during an incident at the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

“Contrary to the implication of the [intelligence community’s] declassified report, based on our investigation involving a variety of public and non-public information, we conclude that there are indications that SARS-CoV-2 may have been tied to China’s biological weapons research program and spilled over to the human population during a lab-related incident at the Wuhan Institute of Virology,” a summary of the report states.

Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines

Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

“The IC failed to adequately address this information in its classified updated assessment. When we attempted to raise the issues with the IC, it failed to respond.”

The Senate passed legislation Wednesday that would require the Biden administration to declassify all intelligence related to the Wuhan Institute of Virology and possible links to the origins of the COVID-19 virus in light of the weekend DOE report.

The House of Representatives is set to line up with the Senate on a bill led by Chairman Mike Gallagher of the newly-formed House Select Committee on China.

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The White House’s John Kirby did not directly answer Fox News’ Peter Doocy Thursday when asked if Biden will sign a bill if it passes in the House too.

“I know I’ve seen press reporting about some preliminary findings of a classified nature, but there’s still no consensus, and that’s why the president has directed the team to stay at the work, because he wants to know. He wants to know as best we can know what the origins were so that we can work to better prevent a future pandemic,” Kirby said.

Source: https://www.foxnews.com/politics/these-biden-admin-agencies-have-admitted-covid-lab-leak-plausible

Politics

Lawmaker says his state may need to ‘divorce’ from USDA over this ingredient in school lunches

A state lawmaker is aiming to “divorce” Iowa from federal regulations to ban margarine and vegetable public school meals over health concerns.

“Seed oils and margarine are wreaking havoc on the health of our children,” Iowa state Rep. Jeff Shipley told Fox News. “Fake industrial fats like margarine are connected to a myriad of mental and physical illness.”

An Iowa bill could ban margarine across the state, claiming the butter alternative can cause illness.

An Iowa bill could ban margarine across the state, claiming the butter alternative can cause illness. (iStock)

Shipley’s legislation, House File 341, passed a subcommittee on Feb. 23. Some margarine, which is made up of vegetable oils and water, has been associated with higher cholesterol levels, according to Harvard Health. It also contains trans fat, which has been associated with increased depression, the National Library of Medicine reported in 2016.

MEDITERRANEAN, MIND DIETS SHOWN TO REDUCE SIGNS OF ALZHEIMER’S IN THE BRAIN, STUDY FINDS

“Animal fats, or higher quality saturated fats like olive or avocado oil are, essential nutrients for children’s health and developments,” Shipley said.

Both margarine and butter can have associated health risks.

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Jay Cowin, a registered nutritionist, previously told Fox News that seed oil was “full of polyunsaturated fatty acids like Omega-6, which can cause inflammation and liver damage. But compared to margarine, butter contains more saturated fats, which have been associated with a higher risk of heart disease.

And some experts found increased sugar and fat intake contributed to increased rates of depression and anxiety

An Iowa bill's sponsor says USDA guidelines are leaving children nutritionally starved.

An Iowa bill’s sponsor says USDA guidelines are leaving children nutritionally starved. (Fox News)

50 BIZARRE LAWS THAT HAVE EXISTED OR STILL EXIST IN AMERICA

Shipley told Fox News that his bill’s text conflicts with guidelines from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which provides funding for public school meals. The nutritional guidelines outlines limited sugar and sodium intake and specific low-fat alternatives for some foods. 

Shipley said the guidelines restricted “fat and protein, thus leaving children nutritionally starved and unhealthy.” 

“Our commitment to the school meal programs comes from a common goal we all share – keeping kids healthy and helping them reach their full potential,” Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said in a recent press release on updated school meal guidelines. “Research shows school meals are the healthiest meals in a day for most kids, proving that they are an important tool for giving kids access to the nutrition they need for a bright future.”

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“Since it’s become clear that the USDA guidelines are not supportive of children’s health, ultimately we will need to divorce the state of Iowa from these guidelines,” Shipley said, though he recognized his legislation could jeopardize USDA funding for Iowa school meals.

House File 341 is awaiting a full committee vote. 

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Politics

WI Assembly set to vote on bill that would make it a felony to encourage, engage in violence during a riot

Anyone who encourages a riot or engages in violence during a riot would face felony charges under a bill Wisconsin’s Assembly is poised to take up Wednesday.

The Republican-backed measure would make urging, promoting or organizing a riot a felony punishable by up to three years and six months in prison. Engaging in violence during a riot would a felony with up to six years in prison.

The bill defines a riot as a disturbance involving violence that’s part of a gathering of at least three people. The act of violence must have a clear and present danger of property damage or personal injury.

WISCONSIN GOV. EVERS MOVES AGAINST STATE ABORTION BAN AHEAD OF SUPREME COURT ELECTION

Assembly approval would send the bill to the Senate. However, its prospects look dim. Democratic Gov. Tony Evers vetoed a similar bill last year that would have made attending a riot a misdemeanor with up to nine months’ jail, and participating in a riot that causes property damage or injuries would have been a felony with up to three years and six months in prison.

The Wisconsin Assembly is set to vote on a bill that would make it a felony to encourage a riot or engage in violence during a riot.

The Wisconsin Assembly is set to vote on a bill that would make it a felony to encourage a riot or engage in violence during a riot.

Evers said in his veto message that it’s already a crime to refuse police orders to withdraw from an unlawful assembly, and that the bill could infringe on free speech rights.

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Republicans introduced the bill after protesters burned swaths of downtown Kenosha, Wisconsin, and damaged statues during demonstrations against police brutality in 2020.

 

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Politics

Trump supporters outnumbered in New York as few take up Trump’s call to ‘PROTEST’

Former President Donald Trump’s supporters are far outnumbered in New York City ahead of his potential arrest Wednesday, despite the Republican’s call for his voters to “PROTEST, PROTEST, PROTEST.”

Demonstrators cheering on the potential indictment against Trump gathered outside the offices of Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, drowning out the handful of protesters there supporting the former president, according to Politico. The grand jury is set to meet again Wednesday.

“I wish more people had shown up,” Trump supporter Philippe Lejeune told the outlet.

Law enforcement sources say an indictment against Trump was unlikely to come down on Tuesday, however, saying it wouldn’t come until Wednesday at the earliest. If Trump is truly indicted it may galvanize more of his supporters to protest.

Few Americans are taking up former President Donald Trump's call to

Few Americans are taking up former President Donald Trump’s call to “PROTEST” ahead of his potential arrest this week. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

The NYPD prepared for potential widespread protests on Tuesday, but they never arrived.

The NYPD prepared for potential widespread protests on Tuesday, but they never arrived. (Leonardo Munoz)

Out of an abundance of caution, the NYPD ordered all 36,000 of its officers to be in uniform and on standby in anticipation of Trump’s potential arrest Tuesday. U.S. Capitol Police also erected barricades and called for more manpower ahead of the potential indictment, but few protesters showed up and Trump remains unmolested.

MCCARTHY DISCOURAGES PROTESTS AMID LOOMING TRUMP INDICTMENT: ‘WE WANT CALMNESS’

The USCP clarified on Monday that it is not aware of any specific threat against the Capitol, but is making preparations out of an abundance of caution.

Several law enforcement groups were scheduled to meet at noon on Monday at NYPD headquarters in Manhattan to discuss the logistics of a potential indictment against Trump. The NYPD hosted the meeting, and attendees included Michael Magliano, chief of the Department of Public Safety, which oversees New York court officers, the head of the Secret Service’s New York office, and a representative from the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office.

Trump would be the first former president in U.S. history to face criminal charges if Bragg’s office levels them. The potential indictment is expected to allege campaign finance infractions relating to records keeping, what some call a slim pretext for such a high-profile case.

U.S. Capitol Police prepared for potential protests surrounding Trump's arrest.

U.S. Capitol Police prepared for potential protests surrounding Trump’s arrest. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Some Democrats fear that the potential charges are not up to the task and could backfire, making it harder for allegations to stick relating to the other two investigations into Trump.

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Bragg’s investigation is just one of three Trump is facing, and the charges stemming from it may be the easiest ones for Trump to defeat. A failed prosecution of the former president – whose opponents have long dreamed of locking him up – could only serve to bolster his common refrain that he is the victim of a “witch hunt.”

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