As I’m sure most know by now, the WSJ reported that the DoE’s investigation into the origin of COVID-19 pointed to the lab leak hypothesis over a natural origin, but with low confidence.
The response to the DoE’s finding by many continues to baffle me. I would interpret a low confidence finding in this context as the evidence points to one conclusion over an another, but there is still more evidence to confirm required to form any definite conclusion.
On the one side, you have some people taking the DoE’s findings as conclusive evidence, which it is certainly not.
On the other hand, many seem to interpret the low confidence as somehow implying the alternative hypothesis is actually true, when in fact is not the case. Or in other ways downplay the results, usually presenting it as an outlier, not mentioning the FBI also concluded the lab leak hypothesis, with moderate evidence.
Others have also gone as far to discredit the DoE, saying that the DOE needs to “stay in their lane”, apparently not realizing the DoE has operated biological research labs for decades, particularly in the context of biological weapons. So they probably do have some ability to understand viruses and safety protocols.
And perhaps worst of all, some have begun to make an argument implying that the origin of COVID really doesn’t matter. Which is an extremely bad take if you ask me.
The responses by some in the media, particularly those who denied the legitimacy of the question in the first place, seem to want a natural origin. It seems to be more about coping for the fact they may indeed have been wrong than any scientific basis for their opinion.
I’m not sure why the lab leak was ever a controversial opinion to begin with. Certainly there are reasons why government agencies and perhaps companies and research institutions would favor one origin of another. But why people (particularly the media) felt so sure of one conclusion to the point of censorship and campaigns of maligning those with another option as racist or throwing them in the same bucket as the 5G chips in vaccines people is really quite troubling for both the media and scientific community.
A lab leak raises a lot of inconvenient questions about allowable research, funding, oversight, liability, geopolitics, etc. Those are likely issues worth considering even if COVID is was not a lab leak- but another discussion in itself.
Personally, I have fairly high confidence we the public will never know conclusively the origin if it was indeed a lab leak. That would require full cooperation from the CCP and that’s unlikely to ever happen.