Suspicion is rising among democracies that the WHO-China study into COVID-19’s origin did not explore the possibility of a lab leak thoroughly. Buried deeply at page 118 of the 120-page paper, the authors said “we did not consider the hypothesis of deliberate release or deliberate bioengineering of SARS-CoV-2 for release”. “The latter had been ruled out by other scientists following analyses of the genome,” the study said. The study, pieced together by a team of Chinese scientists and international experts who led a mission to the Chinese city of Wuhan, examined the possibility that the coronavirus ravaging the world could have been “introduced through a laboratory incident, reflecting an accidental infection of staff from laboratory activities involving the relevant viruses”. After a brief analysis of arguments in favour and against the lab leak hypothesis, which can fit on a single page, the team concluded: “a laboratory origin of the pandemic was considered to be extremely unlikely”. The lacklustre investigation into the theory prompted a chorus of people from around the world, including WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom, Dr Peter Ben Embarek, who co-led the international team, the White House and 14 nations who voiced concerns about the research.