It is mystifying to me how otherwise really intelligent people willfully misread the recent CCS Statement on the ‘lab-leak hypothesis.’
The statement says clearly: we call for a multilateral inquiry into the origins of COVID-19 for the purposes of global health and international scientific cooperation; we are skeptical of any US-led inquiry because the inflamed politics of the bilateral relationship politicizes any such inquiry and renders it suspect from the onset; and we are clear that the PRC government would not cooperate with any US-led inquiry. We are not unaware of the strong likelihood that both the Chinese and the US governments have been lying about many things concerning the virus, and we continue to be clear that the antagonisms of state politics will not resolve the questions, but rather will further inflame them. We link the COVID-19 origins stories and the further inflaming of bilateral antagonisms to anti-Asian racisms in the United States and elsewhere in the West, because we are not representing China or the Chinese, we are critical China scholars who reside outside of China. Our organization has issued clear condemnations of the Chinese state for the systemic racist violence they are perpetrating in Xinjiang, and anyone who is interested can certainly look on our website (criticalchinascholars.org) to find our positions on that and many other things.
In conclusion, I’d ask that those who might wish to disagree with us do so on the basis of what we’ve actually said.
Rebecca Karl (as an individual)