Lancet Report Claiming COVID Could Have Come From U.S. Lab Met With Uproar

A top medical journal at the heart of several pandemic-related controversies published a major COVID-19 Commission report Wednesday that concluded the deadly pathogen might possibly have leaked from a United States laboratory.

The eyebrow-raising suggestion—which was just a part of a 58-page analysis of the COVID pandemic and its origins—in The Lancet stated that it was “feasible” that the SARS-CoV-2 virus emerged either as a natural spillover event or as a leak from a lab. While the report mentions facilities in Wuhan, China, it also says that “independent researchers have not yet investigated” U.S. laboratories, adding that the National Institutes of Health has “resisted disclosing details” of its research on SARS-CoV-related viruses.

The report also called for new safeguards to be put in place to prevent future natural spillovers—in which an animal transmits a virus to a human, who then passes it to other humans—and research-related spillovers.