Some caution is in order. The article is promoting a small group of scientists (historians and data scientists included in the group are only scientists the way military scientists are scientists - they use it as a proper name, they are not scientists) and Undark specializes in conspiracy theories. The group was founded by a progressive conspiracy theorist and their content can be a little maddening in its promotion of all kinds of nonsense but all their controversial history means is that Charles Schmidt has passed a political litmus test from Undark. It doesn't mean he is wrong. Find an anti-vaccine, anti-GMO group in America and you will find them believing that evil scientists did this on purpose.

China is a communist dictatorship. They are an oppressive regime and the most prominent whistleblower in Wuhan, Li Wenliang, died while under arrest for talking about what he called the "Wuhan Flu." They then prevented the same World Health Organisation they lied to about it being transmitted human to human from visiting, they had already deleted their database of over 16,000 coronavirus samples, they scrubbed the Wuhan wet market which everyone there listed as a common denominator in the infections. When WHO was finally allowed visit nearly a year later, the team had to be led by a former Beijing ally and they were only allowed to stay four hours and were not allowed access to...anything.

That doesn't mean they intentionally set it off. Gain-of-function is a valid research effort but a researcher in the Wuhan Lab had been convicted of selling research animals in that same Wuhan wet market. Our BSL level means what it means, theirs clearly only means what we think it means when officials are coming to visit.

It is a bad look for Daszak that even staunchly progressive sites like Undark are criticizing him, because he implicates the Biden administration by association. But it is a valid concern, and other groups have to be applauded for noting it, even without diving into conspiracies.