Lab-Leak Theory To Take Center Stage On First Day Of House Covid Hearings
A special panel convened by House Republicans to investigate the origins of the covid pandemic is set to hold its first day of hearings Wednesday, with three scheduled witnesses who have supported the theory that the virus may have accidentally escaped from a China laboratory.
House Panel Investigating COVID-19's Origins Will Hold First Hearing
On the heels of a federal agency's new assessment that COVID-19 "mostly likely" emerged from a lab leak rather than natural human exposure, a special panel formed by House Republicans to investigate the origins of the virus will hold its first hearing on Wednesday. (Hutzler, 3/8)
The New York Times:
Hearing On Covid’s Origins Promises Politics Mixed With Substance
House Republicans on Wednesday will dig into the origins of the coronavirus pandemic in a hearing that promises to be filled with political theater alongside substantive questions about laboratory safety and what, if anything, could have been done to prevent the worst public health crisis in a century. The hearing of the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic is expected to focus largely on the intensifying debate over whether Covid-19 was the result of a laboratory leak. In advance of the session, Republicans issued a memorandum critical of Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the former director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and a leader in the federal response to the pandemic. (Stolberg and Mueller, 3/7)
More on the lab leak theory —
Does It Matter Where COVID-19 Came From?
We spoke to Angela Rasmussen, a virologist and one of the scientists investigating COVID-19’s origins, to understand how scientists were thinking about lab safety before the pandemic politicized it — and what needs to happen to protect the world from pandemics, wherever they might come from. (Koerth, 3/7)
Covid Lab Leak Fight Masks A Global Boom In High Security Biolabs
The number of high-containment labs around the world conducting potentially risky scientific research is surging, despite a lack of global agreement on how to make sure they're safe. (Griffin and Muller, 3/8)
In related news about public trust in government —
Survey Reveals Low Trust In US Public Health Agency Information Amid Pandemic
More than a third of US adults said they trusted the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to provide quality health information during the COVID-19 pandemic, while a quarter trusted state and local health departments, and 10% said they had no trust at all in these agencies, according to the first nationally representative survey on the public's faith in sources of health information. A team led by Harvard University researchers conducted an online and phone survey of 4,208 US adults from Feb 1 to 22, 2022. (Van Beusekom, 3/7)