Whats known regarding the origin of covid-19, and, what remains a unknown?

During 2021, a world health organizations team was tasked with investigating the origins of the coronavirus. Including their security personnel to keep a watch outside the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
Remaining unknown. The precise origin of SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes covid-19, continues to be a source of contentious debate. Two theories dominate. Infection from animals; and/or, a “lab leak” associated with the research in Wuhan, China. It was were the first cases of an unusual pneumonia-like illness were reported.
Intelligence agencies were able to reach a consensus when US President Joe Biden asked in May 2021. Most favored, with “low confidence,” the natural spillover theory. Peer-reviewed scientific papers published last year, also publicized that the virus came from animals sold at the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market in Wuhan.
Though critics point out that investigators did not find any source of virus-infected animals. Looking into the origin the lack of diseased animals, in fact was reiterated last year by US Republican staff on a Senate committee. Importantly, it also raised questions about safety protocols at the labs. While not ruling out a natural spillover, staff claimed the most likely start was from a research-related incident.

What new evidence has emerged about the origin of covid-19?
The intelligence community recently produced an updated on the 2021 version to Biden. All in all, it has not changed. Though, on Feb 26th, 2023, the Wall Street journal reported energy department shifted shifted from neutral to low confidence regarding a lab leak. It is unclear why the energy department shifted its view because the intelligence report is classified.
Four other large agencies and the national intelligence council all claim natural origin with low confidence. Continuing to state with moderate confidence. The FBI still favors laboratory origin.

Why is the Energy Department involved in covid investigations?
The Energy Department runs projects on quantum physics and fusion energy. They have major national laboratories spending billions on scientific research every year. Media had initially reported, covid analysises were performed by a little-known scientific team specializing in coming into view security threats. And, last week, US national security adviser Jake Sullivan told news networks “US president Biden wants to put every tool at use to be able to figure out what happened here.”

What evidence exists for a lab leak?
Wuhan Institute of Virology is the primary focus of the lab leak. It is a major research center that has performed extensive work on coronaviruses.
Because it originated in China, different versions of the lab leak theory require some level of secrecy by researchers there. It also includes scenarios like accidental release without anyone realizing. Example. Bats are ancestral sources of corona viruses. So the lab collects bats. Someone involved in the catching or scientific testing, could have inadvertently introduced the virus to others in Wuhan.
Because the lab manipulates viruses, it could have made them more transmissible too. Goals of such research on how a pathogen may evolve and become a threat are part of there scientific studies. Most critics declaim this.
One proposal has been pointed to by supporters of the lab leak. The experiment, they argue, could be a recipe for SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes covid-19. The experiment, funded in part by the national institutes of health, and through grants to the organization ecohealth alliance, have become turbulent, and a political hardship.
Scientists who analyzed it claim the experiment(s) could not have produced SARS-CoV-2. However critics believe this kind of viral manipulation. Ones that create novel viruses, or enhances their transmissibility. Could have led to the creation of SARS-CoV-2 (the corona virus that causes covid 19)
Current bottom line is, little evidence the virus, or its progenitor was in any laboratory before the outbreak in late 2019. Chinese scientists have said they were not working with the virus. Chinese officials, however, have not been cooperative with international investigators. World Health Organization even recently abandoned an effort to probe origins. Citing political obstacles.

What is the evidence for a natural origin?
Given history, many scientists line up the facts, which viruses typically start with spillover from other creatures. Recent examples include SARS, a previous coronavirus outbreak from 2002. It had been genetically traced to horseshoe bats.
A fish market called the Huanan Seafood Market was where a large percentage of early SARS-CoV-2 infections had been documented. Last summer, the journal Science published two papers in favor of the market as the epicenter of the outbreak. The market, they said, was in an area of Wuhan were conditions ripe for infection and spread. The narrative is still missing which animals, or where they may have come from. The market was closed and cleaned after people started getting sick and dying. And, all the animals were culled a few days after the outbreak.

So will we ever know the origin of covid?
Given the effects of covid 19. Issues may never be addressed to widespread satisfaction. Nearly 2.5 years later, the issue has become so politicalized that proper reasoning has been disturbed.
New scientific narrative or intelligence could change things. For example, employees could report conditions at the Wuhan Institute of Virology before the outbreak. And, researchers could find progenitor SARS-CoV-2 in archived tissues sample of commercially trafficked animals.
Importantly, we will probably never know but have narrowed it down. We need to ask a couple important questions. Is lab research on viruses totally necessary? And, especially given history more modernly, should we be using bats in experiments?