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Was There a Wuhan Lab Leak? Why an Inquiry Won't Dig Out the Truth

A year ago, the idea that Covid-19 leaked from a lab in Wuhan – a short distance from the wet market that is usually claimed to be the source of the virus – was dismissed as a crackpot theory, supported only by Donald Trump, QAnon and hawks on the right looking to escalate tensions dangerously with China.

Now, after what has been effectively a year-long blackout of the lab-leak theory by the corporate media and the scientific establishment, President Joe Biden has announced an investigation to assess its credibility. And as a consequence, what was treated until a few weeks ago as an unhinged, rightwing conspiracy is suddenly being widely aired and seriously considered by liberals.

Every media outlet is running prominent stories wondering whether a pandemic that has killed so many people and destroyed the lives of so many more can be blamed on human hubris and meddling rather than on a natural cause.