— This past week in healthcare investigations

by Jennifer Henderson

Welcome to the latest edition of Investigative Roundup, highlighting some of the best investigative reporting on healthcare each week.

News Outlets Stand By Story on COVID Origin

ProPublica and Vanity Fair are standing by their story about an interim report on the origins of COVID-19 released by the Republican staff of a Senate committee.

The interim report was the result of a “far-reaching investigation into the question of how the pandemic began,” the editor’s note stated. And the news outlets’ aim was to provide readers with an “inside view of the team’s work” as well as “independent experts’ views of its findings.”

“The debate over COVID-19’s origins has been contentious from the start, and the report’s conclusion that the pandemic was ‘more likely than not, the result of a research-related incident’ triggered criticism,” the editor’s note stated. “Scientists, China observers and others questioned the Senate team’s findings and our reporting about them.”

Reporters and editors from ProPublica and Vanity Fair took a “hard look at those criticisms,” the editor’s note stated. “Our examination affirms that the story, and the totality of reporting it marshals, is sound.”

The editor’s note went on to state that the publications continue to see the story as a “measured exploration’ of questions raised when it comes to the Wuhan Institute of Virology’s laboratories.

“We plan to keep reporting on this issue and expect new evidence to emerge,” the editor’s noted concluded. “It is our view that both the natural-spillover and laboratory-accident hypotheses for the origin of the COVID-19 pandemic merit continued investigation. Given the human toll, which continues to mount, it is imperative that we continue this work.”

Link to article by Jennifer Henderson in MedPage Today

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