The Wall Street Journal first reported on the new assessment from the Department of Energy. A senior US intelligence official told the Journal that the update to the intelligence assessment was conducted in light of new intelligence, further study of academic literature and in consultation with experts outside government.
Academic literature is important, open source, and an indicator of research with escape potential. The open source community should do some digging. This is entirely separate from research at Wuhan funded by NIH, which theory disallows as a source of COVID. See (CNN) Smerconish Interview with Kate Eban; COVID WIV Lab leak #3; Baltimore Gun Has no Smoke. Quoting,
The experiments at WIV were patterned after (Baric, 2015 Naturemedicine) A SARS-like cluster of circulating bat coronaviruses shows potential for human emergence. If this procedure was replicated at WIV, it could not produce COVID-19. If it resulted in general competence that was used in some other way, anything is possible.
So anything is possible. My opinion runs counter to the political blame game, which is gearing up to crucify China. This should be water under the bridge. See Did COVID Come From a Lab Redux? Quoting,
This is straight-up religion, Good versus Evil, bastardized for political capital, the search for the guilty, an urge to distinguish between force majeure, and negligence-by-people-who-should-know-better. There is no sharp distinction. Since punishment is out of the question, what would a guilty verdict mean?
It means we have a choice, to turn a competitor into an enemy, or let it pass. Social media is arguably responsible for the magnitude of the COVID disaster, if not the origin.
Reaction to the China spy balloon is a comic miniature of this. Let’s reserve emotional investment for fundamental issues, like human rights. Perhaps China can still appreciate the negatives of a divided world, or a world at war.