Where in the world did the coronavirus come from? This question has been heard smacking out of everyone's lips, from your nextdoor neighbor's to heads of states', since the pandemic began last year.
One major theory is that the virus escaped from a Chinese government lab, notably the Wuhan Institute of Virology, which is based in the city where it appears the virus first emerged.
Speaking at a U.S. open hearing on world wide threats on Thursday 15 April, top U.S. intelligence officials reiterated their stance that they won't strike out the lab leak theory.
The origin of the coronavirus is still being investigated, said Director of Intelligence Avril Haines and other intelligence officials, clearly demonstrating they won't sit back and accept the WHO's previous findings that outlined the coronavirus outbreak most likely did not originate in a lab.
Although, it has to be noted that the WHO also said that more research was needed to fully identify the source of the virus. One of the issues the team faced while on the ground was that it wasn't able to gather enough tangible evidence to get to the root of the issue, as the BBC reported.
As Haines said at the hearing, "From our perspective, we just don’t know where, when and how the coronavirus was transmitted initially. We have two plausible theories that we’re working on. One of them is that it was a laboratory accident. And the other is that it emerged naturally from human contact with infected animals."
It's hard to imagine that we'll ever know the origin of the virus.
Other widely circulating theories have been that the virus spread from exotic animals like bats and pangolins to humans in wet markets, or that frozen food could be the suspect. However, one of the theories that garnered a lot of attention was the lab leak one that U.S. officials will keep investigating.