The Corner

Politics & Policy

If the U.S. Has Evidence of a Lab Accident, Show It. Don’t Just Hint at It

The editorial board of the Wall Street Journal concludes:

President Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo have both said in recent days that they’ve seen evidence the coronavirus did come from a Wuhan lab. Mr. Trump said it appears to be an accidental release. If they don’t want the issue to be dismissed as an anti-China campaign ploy, they should make the evidence public.

There might be good reasons to withhold the evidence at the moment — protecting sources and methods, and so on — but the board is generally right. An argument that amounts to, “we know this was accidentally released from a lab, but we can’t tell you how we know or what evidence led us to this conclusion” is just not going to persuade many people at home or abroad. As NATIONAL REVIEW readers know, there is a lot of circumstantial evidence pointing to an accidental release stemming from either of the two labs in Wuhan researching coronaviruses in bats, but no smoking gun. The evidence that persuaded the president and Mike Pompeo could be a bombshell with far-reaching ramifications around the world; it ought to be revealed.

And if that evidence doesn’t exist, the leaders of the United States have done something terrible by declaring that it does.

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