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Elon Musk, founder and chief engineer of SpaceX speaks at the 2020 Satellite Conference and Exhibition March 9, 2020 in Washington, DC. Win McNamee/Getty Images

(LifeSiteNews) – State-owned Chinese media warned independent-minded tech mogul Elon Musk to stop publicly opining on mounting evidence that COVID-19 escaped from a Chinese laboratory, days after it was revealed that the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) now takes the theory seriously.

As previously covered by LifeSiteNews, The Wall Street Journal recently reported that a “classified intelligence report” “recently provided to the White House and key members of Congress” reveals that DOE has, with “low confidence,” concluded the virus that sparked a global pandemic in 2020 most likely spread after escaping from a lab in Communist China based on unspecified new intelligence review of academic literature and expert opinion.

Musk, the mind behind Tesla and SpaceX and the latest owner of Twitter, replied to a tweet February 26 about former White House COVID adviser and National Institute of Allergy & Infectious Diseases (NIAID) director Dr. Anthony Fauci’s role in supporting the research that may have eventually led to COVID by approved funding for medical non-government organization EcoHealth Alliance to explore gain-of-function (GOF) research, which entails intentionally strengthening viruses to better study their potential effects on coronaviruses, at several sites, including China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV).

CNBC reported that in response, the Global Times, the English-language arm of the Chinese government-controlled People’s Daily, warned Musk that by commenting on the matter he could be “breaking the pot of China,” which CNBC’s Eunice Yoon said was an expression similar to “bite the hand that feeds you,” potentially alluding to repercussions against a Tesla factory in Shanghai. The typically outspoken Musk has yet to publicly comment on the matter.

The question of COVID’s origins is an explosive one for the governments of both China and the United States.

Publicly, the lab leak theory was widely mocked and dismissed ever since Republican U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas floated it in February 2020, and for months any suggestion of it was condemned as misinformation. It was not until mid-2021 that mainstream media outlets began to acknowledge it as a possibility.

Fauci and his defenders insisted that the work NIAID approved was not gain-of-function research and could not have led to COVID, but in January 2022 the conservative investigators of Project Veritas released documents they obtained showing that, before going to NIAID, EcoHealth previously pitched its funding request to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), which rejected it on the grounds that the project would violate a preexisting moratorium on GOF research and failed to account for its potential risks.

Since then, leaked emails have revealed that top researchers with NIAID, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), London’s Wellcome Trust, and the Netherlands’ Erasmus University Medical Center were aware of the lab-leak possibility as early as February 2020 but feared publicly acknowledging it would impair “science and international harmony.”

Andrew Huff, a former Army infantryman in Iraq, research fellow in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and vice president-turned-whistleblower for EcoHealth, has also attested that COVID-19’s origins trace back to U.S. federal funding overseen by Fauci and the federal government.