The “Lab-Leak” hypothesis is a waste of time

China will never agree to an an investigation — which just distracts from our own failures in managing the pandemic

Thomas Brown
9 min readJun 24, 2021


Public domain.

The origin of the COVID-19 virus is an open question again. While many have thought the matter settled, it has found renewed support among the media and politicians on all political sides, all across the world. President Biden asked for an intelligence report on the theory in May and the Australians have been leading the charge in demanding a comprehensive, international investigation into how the epidemic began. All of which misses the point: it doesn’t matter where the virus came from, what matters is how we dealt with it.

The question of where covid came from is no longer a scientific question, nor a medical one, or even one about policy. Right now, it is a political question. There are only two reasons to investigate the origins of the outbreak: to better prepare for future events or to put China on the defensive.

There is no chance of the former and, as much as checking growing Chinese influence is in the world’s interest, the latter is better accomplished without endangering the cooperation we’ll need for future outbreaks. Investigating the virus solves nothing at this point and is probably counterproductive.

There will be another epidemic.

“Scientists are clear that we will face another pandemic in the future.” said Prof Devi Sridhar, chair of global public health at the University of Edinburgh, in The Guardian in March. “Most agree the question is when, not if.”

“There Will Be Another Pandemic.” said Lois Quam, CEO of Pathfinder International, and Rachel Vogelstein, Douglas Dillon director of the Women and Foreign Policy program, in Foreign Policy in February.

“Whatever the next event will be — and we know there will be another event — it’s already out there.” said Dennis Carroll, head of the Global Virome Project, Financial Times

The single most important fact about the origin of COVID-19 is that however it came to us, the treatment of it shouldn’t change…