A new poll found that 44% of Americans believe the coronavirus was developed in a laboratory, and more than half of those people think the virus was intentionally released from the lab.
TIPP poll results announced Tuesday added that of the people who believe coronavirus was human-made, 54% believe it was intentionally released from the lab, 32% think it was accidentally released, and 14% were not sure how it left the lab.
When asked about the virus' origin, 22% think it came from animals, 11% think it's a naturally occurring virus, and 8% think the virus resulted from human living habits. A total of 16% were unsure about its origins.
Not surprisingly, the TIPP poll found a difference in results based on the party to which respondents said they belonged.
- 63% believe it was developed in a lab.
- 12% think it came from animals.
- 8% think it’s a naturally occurring virus.
- 6% think the virus came to be as a result of human living habits.
- 12% were unsure about its origins.
- 32% believe it was developed in a lab.
- 30% think it came from animals.
- 13% think it’s a naturally occurring virus.
- 11% think the virus came to be as a result of human living habits.
- 14% were unsure about its origins.
Former President Donald Trump and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo were criticized widely by opponents and the mainstream media for claiming early on COVID-19 was the result of a virus that escaped a lab in Wuhan, China.
Last week, President Joe Biden ordered U.S. intelligence agencies to investigate the theory that COVID-19 originated in the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
Biden's announcement followed a CNN report that the Biden administration stopped a State Department investigation launched late last year into whether the coronavirus originated in a Chinese lab.
TIPP reported many people who said the virus was artificially made might have been influenced by news that U.S. officials gained access to papers authored by Chinese military scientists, who five years before the pandemic discussed weaponizing the coronavirus.
The documents allegedly discuss "a new era of genetic weapons" and unleashing the "artificially manipulated" virus that could potentially lead to the "enemy's medical system to collapse," according to The Australian.
Peter Jennings, the executive director of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, told news.com.au that the document was as close to a "smoking gun" as had been found
"I think this is significant because it clearly shows that Chinese scientists were thinking about military application for different strains of the coronavirus and thinking about how it could be deployed," Jennings said.
In a statement Wednesday, Biden said the intelligence community delivered a report to him earlier in May that showed it was divided on the origins of the pandemic. Two "elements" of the community lean toward animals being the source, while one leans toward a lab origin, "each with low or moderate confidence," Biden said.
"I have now asked the Intelligence Community to redouble their efforts to collect and analyze information that could bring us closer to a definitive conclusion," Biden said.
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