Headline RoundupJuly 16th, 2021

WHO Leader Describes 'Premature Push' to Dismiss COVID-19 Lab Leak Theory

Summary from the AllSides News Team

World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said Thursday at a press conference that there was a “premature push” to dismiss the COVID-19 lab leak theory without sufficient evidence. Tedros also called on China to be more transparent as health officials search for evidence of the pandemic's origins. The theory that the pandemic began with a labaratory leak in Wuhan, China was ruled out early in the pandemic as a debunked conspiracy by many Democratic leaders, public health officials and mainstream media outlets; former President Donald Trump and others on the right maintained that the scenario was possible. The theory has gained mainstream traction in recent months as scientists and officials have revisited evidence supporting the hypothesis, and as no "smoking gun" evidence for the pandemic's genesis has emerged.

Many right-rated outlets highlighted Tedros' comments prominently on Friday, often while framing both China and the mainstream media in a negative light; many also focused on Tedros' remarks that “it’s common" for lab accidents to happen. His statements were also covered by several center-rated sources, including the Associated Press and Insider. As of Friday morning, no left-rated outlets published original reporting on Tedros' comments; some, including Washington Post (Lean Left) and Los Angeles Times (Lean Left), republished the AP's story.

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