The COVID-19 origin question is far from settled

Kent Kroeger
10 min readJun 27, 2023

By Kent R. Kroeger (June 27, 2023)

Wuhan Institute of Virology, Wuhan, China (Photo by Ureem2805; used under CCA-Share Alike 4.0 International license.)

By publishing the names of three Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) scientists alleged to be the first human cases of COVID-19 (which is caused by the virus SARS-CoV-2), Michael Shellenberger, Matt Taibbi, and Alex Gutentag added to the growing list of circumstantial (but often compelling) evidence that the COVID-19 pandemic was caused by a lab leak.

Reactions to their June 13th article published on Public (a Substack publication) were swift among journalists and scientists who had already been open to the validity of the lab leak theory.

The Hill’s Robby Soave was one of them:

“The lab leak theory of COVID-19’s origins gained tremendous legitimacy this week as the Wall Street Journal confirmed independent reports from friends of the show Matt Taibbi and Michael Shellenberger that the earliest outbreak occurred at the Wuhan Institute of Virology in November 2019. Patients are now presumed to be three Chinese scientists, at least one of whom, Ben Hu, worked extensively on gain-of-function research — the manipulation of viruses to make them more dangerous, which was funded by grants from the U.S federal government.

Those cases occurred in November 2019, well before the Hunan wet market outbreak — favored by some in the…



Kent Kroeger

I am a survey and statistical consultant with over 30 -years experience measuring and analyzing public opinion (You can contact me at: