A new poll released by POLITICO, an online media outlet, and Harvard University shows that 52 percent of Americans believe the new coronavirus came from a virus lab in Wuhan, China, while only 28 percent believe the virus came from an infected animal; this figure is a dramatic change from a similar poll last year.
In a similar survey conducted by the Pew Research Center last March, only 29 percent of Americans believed the new coronavirus was leaked from a Chinese laboratory.
It has always been the case that the virus was leaked from a Wuhan lab, mainly by some on the political right, but after more than a year, the public’s perception has completely reversed, with 59 percent of Republicans and 52 percent of Democrats in this poll believing the New Crown virus came from a Wuhan lab, and the percentages have been surprisingly close between people from the two major political parties.
The poll also found that the public is interested in investigating the origin of the new coronavirus, with nearly two-thirds of Democrats and Republicans saying it is “extremely” or “very” important to find out where the new coronavirus came from.
Robert Blendon, a professor of health policy and political analysis at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, who designed the questionnaire, noted from the poll results that the lab leak was originally a claim by former President Trump that circulated only among right-wing conservatives. Circulation, so in theory, Republicans and Democrats back to the results should be very different, but this time is different, both parties now hold the same view.
Brandon pointed out that because the Biden administration asked the intelligence community to investigate the origin of the virus, it influenced Democrats’ attitude toward the issue and made it easier to accept the claim that the virus was leaked from the Wuhan lab; and Biden’s approach also put pressure on congressional Democrats, suggesting that he had enough evidence before asking the intelligence community to launch an investigation and submit a report.
A report on the source of the virus ordered by the Biden administration will be submitted in August, and even if it says the virus is of natural origin, it may not sway public opinion.
The House Science Committee is reportedly scheduled to hold its first hearing on the source of the new coronavirus next week, and several other congressional committees have also launched investigations.