Return of the Lab-Leak Hypothesis

Where and how did COVID-19 start? No one knows, but the hypothesis of a lab leak from the Wuhan Institute of Virology has vaulted back into consideration.
Wall Street Journal article (paywall) published on Sunday cited a US intelligence report that said 3 researchers from the institute fell sick in November and had to be hospitalized. Some of the WSJ’s sources said the intelligence needed corroboration while another source said its quality was “exquisite” and “precise.”
A Wuhan institute official said the article is a “a complete lie,” CNN reported.
The report has reignited suspicions about the pandemic’s origins and resurfaced a recent comment by NIAID director Anthony Fauci who said he’s not sure the origins were natural: “I am not convinced about that, I think we should continue to investigate what went on in China until we continue to find out to the best of our ability what happened,” according to The Hill.
Washington Post timeline of the lab leak theory reveals slow-building interest and gathering momentum, including a January 4 article in New York magazine by Nicholson Baker, a May 4 letter to Science from 18 scientists, and a Medium post by former New York Times global health reporter Donald G. McNeil, Jr.
A CNN source familiar with the intelligence said, “My own personal belief is we're never going to know the answer to this.”

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