Is the current theory that is making the rounds that COVID-19 was, in fact, created in a Chinese lab true? According to a recent Pew Poll, 30% of those Americans surveyed answered with an emphatic YES!
The conductors of the poll state that it only serves to highlight that when it comes to the current pandemic, misinformation still rules as king. Even when presented with the data accumulated by fact-checkers, and the word of public health officials, the 30% that answered yes stood by their beliefs.
When polled on how they thought the virus came into being, 23% of adults stated that they believed the virus was created intentionally, again within a Chinese lab setting. Even with the evidence presented by those studying the origin of the virus, and its genetics, those individuals surveyed stand pat on their answers.
While on the other hand, 43%--not even an overwhelming majority—stated they believed the virus came about as a natural occurrence. This belief is in line with the current evidence presented by virus experts.
The poll, which the percentages were populated from, was taken in the week of March 11th to 16th. It was during the same time that the World Health Organization (WHO) had officially declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic. However, it was before most states had officially declared their stay-at-home orders.
Scientists are first to admit that we still a lot to learn about the coronavirus pandemic, but they do feel safe in saying that the virus’s origins to not lay within a Chinese lab, but within that of a bat. Up until the last century, coronavirus’s were known to only affect and therefore sicken animals. However, in recent decades SARS, and now COVID-19 have managed to "jump species" and sicken humans as well.
For all intents and purposes, the evidence seems to point to the fact that COVID-19, one of a very large family of viruses. Chinese researchers, in February of this year, published an article in the top science journal, Nature, that presented their conclusion: "2019-nCoV is 96% identical at the whole-genome level to a bat coronavirus."
It is worth noting that one virus expert hasn't completely ruled out the possibility that COVID-19 could very well have been created in a lab. Although many experts have stated that the once thought source for the virus, those of the Chinese wet markets, is still up for debate, others have stated that the hygienic nature of the markets, such as it was, actually presented a prime condition for "zoonotic spillover."
What the wet markets to blame? Was it created in a lab? Do experts even know?