Two-Thirds of Americans Believe COVID-19 Originated in a Chinese Laboratory

A large majority of Americans believe that the virus responsible for the COVID-19 outbreak came from a laboratory in China, including a majority of Republicans and Democrats. 

WHY IT MATTERS – The widespread nature of this belief makes it more likely Americans will support a potential ban on so-called “gain of function” research on viruses, as well as a tougher posture toward China.   

CHINA VIRUS – A YouGov poll revealed:  

  • 66 percent of Americans — have decided it is or probably true that the COVID-19 virus began in a lab in China. 
  • This includes 85 percent of Republicans and 53 percent of Democrats.  

LEAKED ON PURPOSE? – By 46 percent to 34 percent, Americans say it’s definitely or probably true that the virus responsible for COVID-19 was released intentionally. 

  • This includes two-thirds of Republicans but just 35 percent of Democrats.  

LACK OF CONFIDENCE– The poll also revealed that most Americans favor a congressional investigation into the origins of COVID-19. However, only 35 percent are convinced the inquiry will be able to find the source of COVID-19 to its fullest extent.  

THE BOTTOM LINE – Despite aggressive messaging from the scientific and public health establishment decrying the lab leak hypothesis as a “conspiracy theory,” several U.S. agencies have concluded it is likely. Americans across party lines say it is definitely or probably true that the virus liable for COVID-19 originated in a Chinese laboratory.