The vexing ‘lab leak’ theory on China and the coronavirus

May 26, 2021 ☼ wuhanlab-leakfaucitrump

Source: The Washington Post - Link

It has become evident that some corners of the mainstream media overcorrected when it came to one particular theory from Trump and his allies: that the coronavirus emanated from a laboratory in Wuhan, China, rather than naturally.

It’s also true that many criticisms of the coverage are overwrought and that Trump’s and his allies’ claims invited and deserved skepticism.

Evidence has increasingly pointed to the plausibility of the “lab leak” theory, which most scientists and the media (often citing those same scientists) originally downplayed or, in some cases, dismissed. The latest example is a Wall Street Journal report that cites U.S. intelligence that three workers from the Wuhan Institute of Virology became so ill in November 2019 — shortly before the virus was unleashed not just on Wuhan but eventually the world — that they required hospital care. This is unverified intelligence, but leading infectious-disease expert Anthony S. Fauci, who downplayed the lab leak theory in the past, was asked recently whether he was still confident about that, and he said, “No, actually.” He urged further investigation.

The lab-leak theory still lacks evidence. Just admitting that is is a possibility is a step in the right direction. Just because it could have happened doesn’t mean it did happen.