Taking the lab leak seriously...And an implosion in Montgomery County
Plus an interview with former NARAL Prez Ilyse Hogue
Did you know that we are still funding the kind of research that many virologists are increasingly concerned was the cause of the pandemic? For many, the question of the origin of the pandemic at this point feels academic, while also being caught up in conspiracy-land politics.
To me, though, exploring the origin seriously is one of the most important things we can do, because future pandemics remain among the greatest threats we face as a species. We don’t want to look back in 10 years at Covid as the tame one.
Our room for maneuver on some of the crises we face in the future is narrow, but when it comes to this one, it really is all in our hands. (That doesn’t mean we won’t have future pandemics that spring from nature; it just means we don’t have to accidentally let them slip out of a lab if we ban that risky research from being done.)
A handful of journalists have been doggedly investigating the lab leak theory for two years now, an effort that includes a lengthy but successful (and ongoing) FOIA lawsuit against the NIH. Katherin Eban, Sharon Lerner, and Mara Hvistendahl joined me this week on Deconstructed to go over what they’ve found. If you’ve been avoiding this issue, this episode is a great place to start.
Roe and Beyond
We also updated and re-posted my interview from earlier with former NARAL President Ilyse Hogue on the deep roots of the anti-abortion movement. Well worth a listen if you want to understand where this came from. (You can find Deconstructed for free on whatever podcast platform you use.)
And I covered the fascinating and harrowing flameout of a democratic socialist campaign in Montgomery County, Maryland. It’s a local race, but it has national implications that will be readily apparent.
In the news industry, we have backend analytics that tell us how many people clicked on a story and also how long they read it. (If you stop scrolling and leave the page open, that doesn’t count.) Given our distracted world, it’s awfully hard to get an “average time read” above a minute or two. I’m extremely heartened that this one is averaging five minutes and 22 seconds, which I hope is enough enticement for you to give it a try.