Updated March 1, 2023 at 5:25 PM ET
Laborique theory is alive! Or, better put, never die.In response to new but unspecified information, the U.S. Department of Energy changed the rating About the origins of COVID-19: Authorities, previously undecided on this issue, are now evaluating laboratory accidents before natural spillover events as a dubious starting point.That conclusion was first reported over the weekend of wall street journalconsistent with findings from the FBI, and Senate Minority Report Last fall, which called for a pandemic, “it was likely the result of a research-related incident.”
Again, the new evaluation is no Consistent with findings from elsewhere in the federal government. Mid-2021, President Joe Biden to become US intelligence agency 90 days review about the origin of the pandemic, response Four agencies and the National Intelligence Council speculated that COVID (as nearly all pandemics do) began with natural exposure to infected animals. Three agencies were unable to decide on an answer. and one blamed a lab accident. The DOE revision revealed this week means that a single pending vote has turned to the Laborique faction. If it keeps counting, and what else can really be done? With an updated score of 5–2, the question still seems to be decided in favor of zoonotic origins. is still an outlier.
Did you finish? No, we’re not done yet. None of these assessments are very convincing, only one from the FBI was made with “moderate” confidence. The rest are rated “low”. hmm, i don’t knowThis lack of confidence will now fall prey to Congress for months compared to the intimidating certainty of scientists and journalists who denied the possibility of a lab leak in 2020. public hearingas House Republicans pursue possible evidence,cover upBut for all Sturm und Doran that is certain to come, the basic state of knowledge about the origins of COVID is more or less unchanged from where it was a year ago. is consistent with the history and established set of facts. But Labourique is also true in some ways, and we can’t rule it out, at least for now. To put all this in another way: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.
That’s not to say it’s a toss-up, though. For example, all agencies agree that SARS-CoV-2 was not intentionally designed as a weapon. And since Biden ordered the review, some evidence has come to light. cautious conspiracy An early case from Wuhan, China, marks the city’s Huanan Market complex as the epicenter of the outbreak. Many scientists with relevant knowledge believe that COVID started in that market, but that belief may be shaken. In that sense, the consensus on the origin of COVID feels somewhat different than the consensus on human role in global warming. sharply comparedclimate expert almost everything Agree, they also feel surely of their position.
The central ambiguity of COVID’s origins remains intact, sitting on two seemingly improbable coincidences. One is about the South China market and the other is about the Wuhan Institute of Virology, where Chinese researchers specialize. Bat coronavirus research. If COVID actually started in a lab, if one position holds, it would be quite amazing coincidence Many of the early infections occurred in and around venues selling live wild animals. First SARS-coronavirus pandemic may have started 20 years ago.But also: If COVID actually started in a live animal market, it would have to as well amazing coincidence The market in question happened to be across the river from the lab of the world’s leading bat coronavirus researcher, who was conducting experiments that could theoretically make coronaviruses. more dangerous.
One might argue which of these coincidences is truly amazing. In fact, it has been the main subject of this controversy since 2020 and a source of endless resentment. In theory, further research and investigations could help resolve some of this uncertainty, but these may never happen. Formal inquiry into pandemic origins set by World Health Organization , from early 2021, an Institute source said, “very unlikely,” by conducting further research and institutional audits in China. The project is now shelving Faced with Chinese opposition, and the Wuhan Institute of Virology has long Stopped responding to requests for information from U.S.-based research partners and the NIH, according to a report by the Inspector General of Health and Human Services.
Meanwhile, the sprinkling of facts brought into Laborique’s debate over the past two years has been, at times, maddeningly opaque, like the unnamed “new intelligence” that has rocked the Department of Energy. (For the record, of new york times report Each agency investigating the origins of the pandemic had access to this same information. As a result, only the DOE changed its assessment to support the laboratory leak explanation. ) Certain fresh classified information allegedly only changed the minds of some (but some) anonymous analysts. Most likely of laboratory origin. Well, great. I think that will decide.
As more specific information becomes available, its content tends to change over time.of journalFor example, the report cites the US intelligence agency’s findings that three researchers at the Wuhan Institute of Virology fell ill in November 2019. But how much do scientists really know about these diseases? sauce. with one To tellThe researcher’s wife also fell ill and died of an infection.another add A seemingly important fact that the researchers were “related to coronavirus gain-of-function studies.” However, an unnamed current and former U.S. official passing on this kind of information said: settle for its reliability.
Or consider the report published last October. with ProPublica vanity fair, on the flurry of Chinese Communist Party communications since the fall of 2019. Senate researcher Toy Reid interpreted these to mean that the Wuhan Institute of Virology experienced a major biosafety crisis that November. Critics derided the story, calling it “train accidentassuming bad translation. of response ProPublica asked three more translators to check Reid’s reading.
This may be what happens when you are trapped in an information void. A snippet of data that happens to pass by pushes you in a new direction.
This article has been updated to clarify the nature of the projects put on hold by the World Health Organization.