Scientists vs. Conspiracy Theorists

A lab worker in Wuhan, Feb. 13, 2020. Image: Cheng Min/Xinhua via Getty
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A lab worker in Wuhan, Feb. 13, 2020. Image: Cheng Min/Xinhua via Getty

A group of 27 prominent public health experts denounced a rash of conspiracy theories suggesting that COVID-19 could have originated in a Wuhan lab,Science reports.

In a statement published in the Lancet yesterday, they strongly condemned rumors suggesting that COVID-19 does not have a natural origin, saying the analyses so far “overwhelmingly conclude that this coronavirus originated in wildlife.”

“Conspiracy theories do nothing but create fear, rumours, and prejudice that jeopardise our global collaboration in the fight against this virus,” they wrote.

The rumors charged that the coronavirus was engineered by local scientists and leaked in Wuhan, the epicenter of the epidemic, Reuters reports.

The lab in question—The Wuhan Institute of Virology—released a statement yesterday saying that internet rumors have “caused great harm to our research staff on the front line of scientific research.”

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