Was it a natural zoonotic spillover that catapulted SARS-CoV-2 from an emerging virus into a pandemic pathogen or was it something much more sinister? Did a lab leak in Wuhan, China, cast a spark that lit the fuse?
Debate and discussion about the origin of the virus that causes COVID-19 have been at the forefront of the global consciousness since the first cases were reported in December 2019.
Early on, whispers of a potentially engineered virus quickly grew to a roar and fueled speculation that China was behind the pandemic. This narrative was so pervasive that, in February 2020, 27 public health scientists published a letter in The Lancet disputing the lab leak theory and announcing their support of their counterparts in China: the scientists, public health officials, and medical professionals combating the pandemic.
The authors, who all...