The United Nations, which was basically last to acknowledge the COVID-19 pandemic and even said allegations it originated in Wuhan were racist, has never stopped promoting every alternative to an accidental lab leak - and alleging any other discussion was racism.

Well-connected insiders who had been funneling money to China even co-authored a paper in The Lancet with Chinese researchers saying there was no evidence for a lab leak in Wuhan, and that such concern was xenophobia. Nearly a year later, when China finally let anyone outside the government 'investigate', they hand-picked an ally and former Beijing fixture to lead a team from the World Health Organisation, because they knew if they controlled the investigation, there would be no fallout from a brief, government-controlled meeting with pre-ordained questions in the lab, followed by a short visit to the Wuhan market which had been scoured.

There was not even a raised eyebrow from WHO when the Chinese government then said COVID-19 was probably caused by American frozen food.

Little wonder than a new hand-picked WHO team has been chosen to battle back against renewed concern that COVID-19 may have originated due to a lab leak. And that the Usual Suspects in science media who parroted every alternative have done so again, using nonsensical terms like "a growing body of evidence", which most often means a few claims by a narrow circle of believers.

The paper uses one of the databases China still had online before the pandemic became undeniable and the communist party ordered them all taken down, including 15,000 samples of coronavirus, many from bats. Some scholars, perhaps skeptical of claims that there was no pandemic at all, as WHO insisted, and that only 4,000 people in China had died by March, as China insisted, figured they might get the "1984" treatment at some point and made a local copy, or they may have downloaded it for easier parsing. Regardless, some have it over the efforts of China, and they found viral RNA from the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market in early 2020 had genetic material from local raccoon dogs and other animals.

So maybe animals caused the pandemic, not a lab at all.

Sure, maybe. Yet that evidence was from three months after COVID-19 had broken out, and a month after a whistleblower in China who'd been imprisoned by the government for talking about COVID-19 died under mysterious circumstance. Prior to that, lab employees had gone to prison for selling experimental animals from their lab. If you have ever been to a wet market, you know they are cesspools of blood and feces and urine with little to no hygiene involved. If a lab animal was there, transmission would be trivial.

No one is trying to suggest anyone was being malevolent, but is it just as plausible that poorly paid employees in a lab were selling animals? Again? Of course. It is a communist dictatorship, corruption is rampant, and we knew their BSL rating was just a number, they are not as safe as the US, and even here accidents can happen. Officials during the Obama administration had been alarmed about lax procedures in 2014, and again during the Trump administration in 2018. 

Given the history of concern about the two labs in Wuhan, it is strange that the the Biden administration refuses to declassify more intelligence surrounding the origins of COVID-19. Scientists who were not part of the problem in suppressing investigations will be part of the solution.