Prime Only Members-Only Article

Some Thoughts on the COVID ‘Lab Leak’ Theory

FILE - In this Feb. 1, 2020, file photo, funeral home workers remove the body of a person suspected to have died from the coronavirus outbreak from a residential building in Wuhan in central China's Hubei Province. T... FILE - In this Feb. 1, 2020, file photo, funeral home workers remove the body of a person suspected to have died from the coronavirus outbreak from a residential building in Wuhan in central China's Hubei Province. The central Chinese city of Wuhan has raised its number of COVID-19 fatalities by more than 1,000. State media said the undercount had been due to the insufficient admission capabilities at overwhelmed medical facilities at the peak of the outbreak. (Chinatopix via AP, File) MORE LESS
|
June 1, 2021 12:50 p.m.

Are you having trouble keeping up on the press discussion of a ‘lab leak’ theory of the origins of COVID? Here are a few pointers.

Broadly speaking, there’s seldom been an example of a more rapid shift in public opinion or rather elite conventional wisdom in the face of so little changing evidence. A bunch of right wing or right-adjacent columnists are running around high-fiving each other and patting themselves on the back about how “the media” got it wrong.

On balance, this isn’t true. What happened is that from the outset China-hawks who were largely out to defend Donald Trump made a series of baseless accusations about COVID either being a bioweapon or the accidental release of a Chinese biological warfare weapon. When that got shot down (there’s strong genomic evidence against this), they retreated to a more conventional lab accident as their pet theory. The best one can say is that most journalists became reflexively skeptical to all such claims since they were mainly coming from people who are professional liars with obvious axes to grind.

Real Independence
Made Possible By Members

FREE community-supported memberships are available to students and those experiencing financial hardship

Special Offer
Prime
$60/yr
$60/yr
30% off!
Access to Member-Exclusives and Fewer Ads
Get Prime

    Also Includes:

  • The Hive Member Forum
  • Members-Only Newsletter
  • RSS Feeds
  • Commenting
Prime
$5.99/mo
Access to Member-Exclusives and Fewer Ads
Get Prime

    Also Includes:

  • The Hive Member Forum
  • Members-Only Newsletter
  • RSS Feeds
  • Commenting
Prime Ad Free
$100/yr
Access to Member-Exclusives and NO Ads
Get Prime AF

    Also Includes:

  • The Hive Member Forum
  • Members-Only Newsletter
  • RSS Feeds
  • Commenting
Prime Ad Free
$9.99/mo
Access to Member-Exclusives and NO Ads
Get Prime AF

    Also Includes:

  • The Hive Member Forum
  • Members-Only Newsletter
  • RSS Feeds
  • Commenting
See MonthlyAnnual Pricing Plans

More Membership Options

Student (free all-access membership) APPLY NOW Community-Supported (free all-access membership) APPLY NOW TPM Inside LEARN MORE
CONTACT FAQ
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Publisher:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: