February 28, 2023

Covid Lab Leak

Last weekend, the Wall Street Journal reported that “The U.S. Energy Department has concluded that the Covid pandemic most likely arose from a laboratory leak, according to a classified intelligence report recently provided to the White House and key members of Congress…

“The Energy Department now joins the Federal Bureau of Investigation in saying the virus likely spread via a mishap at a Chinese laboratory. Four other agencies, along with a national intelligence panel, still judge that it was likely the result of a natural transmission, and two are undecided… The Energy Department made its judgment with ‘low confidence,’ according to people who have read the classified report.” Wall Street Journal

See past issues

From the Right

The right criticizes the media and others who dismissed the lab leak theory.

From the Left

The left argues that the lab leak theory has yet to be proven.

The left argues that the lab leak theory has yet to be proven.

A libertarian's take

“[Apoorva Mandavilli, The New York Times' lead coronavirus reporter] lamented in May 2021 that people would talk about a theory with ‘racist roots.’ What was racist about the lab leak theory was never well-explained. In fact, one could plausibly argue that the alternative explanation—that it came from a Chinese wet market—has far more racially problematic implications. After all, if wet markets are responsible for the pandemic, then the culprit is a culturally specific Chinese food custom…  

“The lab leak theory, on the other hand, indicts an organization, the Chinese government, rather than a populace. And unlike the wet market theory, a possible lab origin also calls for scrutiny of U.S. agencies, which have funded coronavirus research on bats in Wuhan, China. The truth is the truth, and investigators should pursue the origins of COVID-19 no matter where they lead. But if the goal is minimizing anti-Asian animus, there's actually good reason to prefer the lab leak explanation.”
Robby Soave, Reason

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