How media shifted on COVID lab leak theory after months of dismissing it

Lab by National Cancer Institute is licensed under Unsplash

A hypothesis about the origins of COVID-19 has, in the space of a few weeks, gone from a seemingly debunked conspiracy theory to a plausible explanation in the eyes of some in the media.

The idea that the virus could have originated in a Wuhan virology lab and spread accidentally through a lab worker, known as the lab leak hypothesis, has been reported on by outlets including the Washington Examiner repeatedly through the past year.

But in other parts of the media, the hypothesis has only now gathered steam thanks to an essay from a former New York Times reporter who laid out the scientific and circumstantial signs pointing to a lab leak.

Reflecting the media’s fresh look at the possibility of a lab accident, left-leaning outlet Vox on Monday attached an editor’s note to an article from last year that called the lab leak hypothesis a conspiracy and a “distraction.”

Lab by National Cancer Institute is licensed under Unsplash