The AtlanticThe Atlantic

Why are we still arguing about masks?

By Derek Thompson

03 Mar 2023 · 7 min read

Editor's Note

Is it time to rethink our assumptions about COVID-19? Derek Thompson examines the latest research on the lab-leak theory and mask effectiveness and urges us to embrace complexity.

In the past few weeks, the conventional wisdom about COVID seems to have been upended.

Early in the pandemic, several mainstream news outlets dismissed theories that COVID came from a Chinese lab. But recently The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times reported that the Department of Energy reversed its prior judgment by announcing that the coronavirus probably did emerge from a laboratory. The FBI shares that assessment.

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