Headlines: what if the coronavirus did indeed come from a laboratory leak?

Audio 04:11

Security personnel in front of the Wuhan Instity of Virology, during the visit of the WHO team, in February 2021. © AP - Ng Han Guan

By: Frédéric Couteau Follow

9 mins


Indeed, " 

the trail of a laboratory leak is emerging

 ", exclaims

Le Figaro

on the front page.


This is a hypothesis that was brushed aside at the start of the pandemic: unthinkable that the virus could have escaped from a secure laboratory in Wuhan.

But what if this cathedral of certainties were built on quicksand?

 Asks the newspaper.

Indeed, points out

Le Figaro, “

the trail of the accidental leak becomes more credible as the disturbing elements, without being overwhelming, accumulate.

Behind the scenes, the scientific controversy has been gaining ground for months.

This materialized in a series of open letters to the WHO published since the beginning of the year by an international group of scientists (informally baptized "Paris group" because initiated by the French) calling for an investigation rigorous, without preconceptions and to greater transparency on the part of China



In the crosshairs: the Wuhan Institute of Virology

And the suspicions of this Paris group are on the Wuhan Institute of Virology, a virology institute recognized as one of the most important research centers in the world on bat coronaviruses.

It is known that virus samples from bat droppings have been studied in this laboratory.

Samples from a mine where “ 

six workers had contracted atypical pneumonia in 2012 (three died).

Many gray areas surround this event.

Chinese authorities did not alert the WHO at the time



What is more, continues

Le Figaro, “

it is common knowledge that the Wuhan Institute of Virology was carrying out so-called 'gain of function' work consisting in modifying the genome to study how this affects the ability of the virus to infect cells. of different species.

Research deemed sufficiently dangerous for the United States to impose a national moratorium on these practices in 2014, before lifting it in 2017.


In short, " 

as long as the notebooks and raw data from the Wuhan laboratories are not scrutinized, the doubt will remain,



Le Figaro


Le Figaro which concludes: “ 

a year and a half after having identified Sars-CoV-2, researchers have still not determined its origin, a step which is nevertheless essential to avoid a new pandemic.

And for good reason,

deplores the newspaper

: the People's Republic, where the epidemic started, is doing everything to prevent it



LR siphoned

On the front page of


, this question: " 

What will remain of the right in 2022?" 



In the Paca region, the withdrawal of LREM from the regional ones in favor of the outgoing LR, Renaud Muselier, reshuffles the cards,



While conservative ideas are more popular than ever, Christian Jacob's party finds itself siphoned off by Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen who invest the security field.


And " 

LR's strategic council, which is being held this Tuesday, can only give birth to a bad solution,

according to


One, the LR withdraws and ends up accepting this agreement, and its entire presidential strategy falls to the ground.

Two, LR withdraws his investiture from Muselier and presents a candidate in his colors;

the risk is great that it will make up the figuration, and that it will do the business of the RN



D-day for PSG

Finally, the Champions League: semi-final return tonight between Manchester and PSG.

Despite the defeat in the first leg, 2 to 1,

Le Parisien

remains optimistic… “ 

Five reasons to believe in the feat,

affirms the newspaper 


one, Paris is a hit outside;

two, the Parisians score on average more than two goals per game;

three, Neymar has the fangs;

four, coach Pochettino knows how to fire;

and five, Guardiola, the Manchester coach has had many setbacks at this stage of the competition at Bayer and Barça.


For its part,


recalls these precepts of the former PSG coach, Gérard Houllier: “ 

talent is the rebound, the great teams never lose twice in a row.


the big matches belong to the big players


"Neymar and Mbappé are warned ...


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