The Listening Post

Lab leak reloaded: The media brings back COVID origin debate

The idea that COVID came from a Chinese lab was dismissed as a conspiracy theory but is now back in the news. Plus, keeping the memory of Tiananmen alive in Hong Kong.

A year and a half into the pandemic and people are still asking where the COVID-19 virus originated. The so-called lab-leak theory is gaining momentum among some scientists and journalists who contend this story has the makings of a mass cover-up.


Nicholas Wade – Former science reporter, New York Times

James Palmer – Deputy editor, Foreign Policy

Amy Maxmen – Senior reporter, Nature

Gideon Meyerowitz-Katz – Epidemiologist, University of Wollongong; columnist, The Guardian

On our radar

One journalist in Pakistan is beaten up. Another is being censored. Richard Gizbert speaks to producer Tariq Nafi about the country’s red lines that you cannot cross.

Forced to forget, determined to remember: The Tiananmen massacre

Chinese officials have tried to erase the Tiananmen Square massacre from the country’s history but dissidents outside the mainland are doing what they can to keep the memory alive.


Lee Cheuk-yan – Founder, June 4th Museum; chairman, Hong Kong Alliance

Wu’er Kaixi – Tiananmen protest leader

Yaqiu Wang – China researcher, Human Rights Watch