The Wuhan Lab-Leak Hypothesis Goes Mainstream

A scientist works in a COVID-19 research lab in Beijing, China, March 30, 2020. (Thomas Peter/Reuters)
And if the theory’s true, no doubt some people would prefer that the virus’s origins always remain a mystery.

NRPLUS MEMBER ARTICLE T his morning, New York magazine unveiled “The Lab-Leak Hypothesis” — Nicholson Baker’s lengthy and detailed exploration of the possibility that the SARS-CoV-2 virus and ongoing coronavirus pandemic is the result of a lab accident in Wuhan, China. Baker goes even further, speculating that the reason this virus is similar to many previously discovered viruses but not quite the same is that it may have been altered through gain-of-function experiments.

In other words, the theory suggests that Chinese scientists wanted to study a particularly dangerous version of an existing virus and thus deliberately accelerated a virus’s process of growth and change to