Why top scientists linked arms to tamp down public speculation about a lab leak—even when their emails, revealed via FOIA requests and congressional review, suggest they held similar concerns—remains unclear. Was it simply because their views shifted in favor of a natural origin? Could it have been to protect science from the ravings of conspiracy theorists? Or to protect against a revelation that could prove fatal to certain risky research that they deem indispensable? Or to protect vast streams of grant money from political interference or government regulation?
[By January 30 2020] The virus was spreading uncontrollably and the Chinese government was busy crushing anyone who spoke out: It ordered laboratory samples destroyed, punished doctors who raised alarms, and claimed the right to review any scientific research about COVID-19 ahead of publication, a restriction that remains in place today.