Earlier this month, 18 prominent scientists published an open letter in the journal Science calling for a more thorough, transparent investigation of the origins of COVID-19. (China was notably uncooperative in the earlier WHO-commissioned inquiry, having taken down previously publicly available databases and pushing its preferred theory that COVID-19 originated outside of China. The director-general of the WHO has himself since called for a more thorough investigation.) Why does it matter where the virus originated? In the words of technology advisor Jamie Metzl, "When a plane crashes, you could say, 'Well, a plane crashed. We should redouble our efforts to make sure that we have safe skies.' You'd be right. But when a plane crashes, we also want to know why did this particular plane crash? Because that could point to a much bigger problem. You could say, 'there are lots of things that could lead to pandemics. One of them is unsafe laboratories and another is climate change and eco system destruction. We should do all of them.' But to prioritize our response, we need to recognize where the biggest challenges are. If ... COVID-19 comes from an accidental lab leak from the Wuhan Institute of Virology, that's a pretty big problem because that's not the only institute of virology in all of China or in all of the world. We need to prioritize that response now and in the future. If it's something else, that would be our starting point. I think it would be enormously self-defeating to say 'it doesn't matter where the worst pandemic in a century comes from and we should just play nice with everybody and move on and try to do a little bit of everything.'" (Quote from the March 17 "Intelligence Matters" podcast, which is not given to providing a platform to conspiracy theorists, on the considerable circumstantial evidence that China continues to hide what it knows about the origins of COVID-19. www.cbsnews.com/news/covid-19-origins-transparency-china/) The Wall Street Journal also published a good background piece on the recent push to investigate the origins of the virus: www.wsj.com/articles/wuhan-lab-leak-question-chinese-mine-covid-pandemic-11621871125
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