Conflicting Reports on Coronavirus Origins

Headline Roundup May 3rd, 2020

As officials and experts continue to probe the origins of COVID-19, conflicting information has arisen about exactly how and where the novel virus began -- a fact that has also been reflected in news reports on the subject. Many outlets on the right have echoed statements in recent days by high-ranking officials like Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and President Donald Trump that claim the virus was possibly leaked from a Wuhan lab, as opposed to a wet market in the Chinese city. Outlets on the left and center, by contrast, have pushed back on that theory, highlighting a lack of concrete evidence and other facts that suggest it unlikely. U.S. intelligence investigations around the issue so far have been publicly announced inconclusive.

From the Center
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A fringe theory suggests that the new coronavirus leaked by accident from a lab in Wuhan.

Researchers at the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) study infectious diseases, including coronaviruses, and did before the pandemic started. So as questions about how the pandemic started continue to go unanswered, the lab has drawn scrutiny.

Matthew Pottinger, Trump's deputy national security adviser, asked intelligence agencies in January to look into the idea of a Wuhan lab leak, The New York Times reported. But CIA officers didn't find any evidence.

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From the Left
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FACT CHECK

President Trump isn’t the only one hearing this tale. The political world, Internet theorists, intelligence analysts and global public health officials are abuzz with a big question: Is it possible that the new coronavirus — which causes covid-19 — leaked from a lab?

For months, Chinese authorities have pointed to the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market in Wuhan as the virus’s likely origin. A cluster of early cases had contact with the market. It sold a wide variety of wildlife that, officials hypothesized, was critical to the virus’s formation and spread....

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From the Right
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The majority view among the U.S. intelligence community agencies is that COVID-19 is natural and accidentally leaked out of a laboratory in Wuhan, China, a senior intelligence official told the Daily Caller News Foundation.

While not all of the 17 agencies that make up the IC are fully behind the idea that the novel coronavirus was an accidental laboratory leak, most believe that to be the case, according to the senior official. The official added that the holdouts are still open to the possibility that the virus leaked from a...

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