The Corner

Knowing the Virus’ Origin Would Have Changed a Lot, Almost Immediately

A man in a protective suit stands at Wuhan Tianhe International Airport after the lockdown was lifted in Wuhan, the capital of Hubei Province, the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak, April 10, 2020. (Aly Song/Reuters)

Pointing out that the origin of the virus matters enormously, Rich wrote that knowing the virus escaped from a lab “wouldn’t have changed how we responded to the pandemic in real time.”

Actually, I’m pretty sure it would have changed the response considerably.

If the virus was accidentally released from a laboratory, that means it was being researched in a laboratory. Which means someone, and probably several researchers, within the Wuhan Institute of Virology already knew some things about this particular virus when Wuhan residents started showing up at hospitals with strange new viral infections throughout December. It means that when the


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