May 19, 2021, Politico, By MYAH WARD and RENUKA RAYASAM
Experts weigh in on the Wuhan lab leak hypothesis
ORIGIN STORY— The hypothesis that Covid-19 was leaked from a Wuhan lab has leaped from its original host — Trump administration officials and people dismissed as conspiracy theorists — into the body of mainstream debate. Last week, 18 leading scientists published a letter in the academic journal Science calling for further investigation to determine the origin of the pandemic that has killed 3.4 million people worldwide. “Theories of accidental release from a lab and zoonotic spillover both remain viable,” the scientists wrote.
The letter echoes a similar call from WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. During a Senate hearing last week on the U.S. response to the pandemic, Anthony Fauci said he was “fully in favor of any further investigation of what went on in China” after sparring with Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) about the origins of the virus. And this month, the former New York Times science reporters Nicholas Wade and Donald G. McNeil Jr. have written long essays on Medium outlining why they take the lab leak hypothesis seriously.
Nightly reached out to experts, two of whom signed the letter as well as others who have taken the opposite side in the public debate, to ask how credible they find the lab leak theory. Their edited responses are below.