Dr. Anthony Fauci and other prominent health experts spent much of the pandemic dismissing speculation that COVID-19 originated at a state-run laboratory in Wuhan, China.
Amid new evidence supporting that theory, however, polls show that a majority of Americans across party lines believe the virus did leak from the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
Furthermore, reports indicate that most Americans also believe China should be forced to pay reparations for its role in the global outbreak.
The latest polling results are significant in that they reflect a shift away from accepting the assurances of health experts at face value and toward formulating their own beliefs based on the available information.
The Center for Security Policy, in conjunction with TIPP Insights and TechnoMetrica, surveyed 1,424 U.S. adults between June 30 and July 2. With a 2.8% margin of error, the survey found that about half of all respondents believe the virus originated at the Wuhan lab.
Furthermore, about 1 in 4 say the virus was likely created and released “intentionally.”
Regardless of whether the virus was created in a lab or spread naturally through animal-to-human transmission, a clear majority of those surveyed believe that the Chinese government should be held financially liable via international reparations for the death and economic destruction caused by the pandemic.
If the virus is found to have originated in the lab and been accidentally released, 63% — including 71% of Republicans, 61% of Democrats, and 61% of independents — believe China should be compelled to pay reparations.
That number increases to 78% overall if the virus is shown to have been purposely released from the Chinese lab.
A separate poll commissioned by Politico and Harvard University found that a bipartisan majority of Americans believe COVID-19 originated at the Wuhan Institute of Virology and deemed it “important” for the U.S. government to fully investigate the origin of the virus. That survey included 1,009 U.S. adults polled between June 22-27 and came with a 3.8% margin of error.
Recent polls reveal a significant shift in sentiment from a Pew Research Center poll conducted in March 2020, which found that only about 29% of Americans believed the virus originated in and leaked from a lab.
Former President Donald Trump was an early proponent of the lab-leak theory and has recently claimed vindication along with a demand that China pay a $10 trillion penalty for its role in the pandemic.