Most Americans now no longer think the COVID-19 pandemic is a natural disaster as claimed by the region where it first emerged, China, according to a new poll this week.

When asked about the lab-leak theory and whether the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) lied about the virus’ origin, 72% of the respondents agreed that it was likely, the Ronald Reagan Institute’s 2021 National Defense Survey reported, according to Fox News. Those strongly convinced by the scenario accounted for 42%.

The once considered conspiracy theory indicates that the novel virus was cultivated in a Chinese lab and was unprecedentedly leaked outside. China insisted the virus evolved naturally and began its deadly havoc in an animal trade market in Wuhan province.

Americans were not too distinctively divided in believing that coronavirus was an engineered product in terms of political tendencies. 

86% of Republicans agreed the virus likely came from a Wuhan lab. They have been among those initially backing the lab-leak theory when experts were still tentative about it. Respectively, that figure in the Democrats and independents were 61% and 67%.

Former President Donald Trump, a Republican, first raised doubts about the source behind the COVID-19 pandemic when it arrived in the U.S. last year. But it was not until this May when the Biden administration hinted at support for clarifying the truth that the debate heated up.

Since then, multiple attempts have attempted to probe the Wuhan Institute of Virology, the facility most suspected by the lab-leak theory. Yet, non-cooperative attitudes from the CCP have hindered progress.

According to the Reagan Institute, surveyors were more unified when asked if the CCP should be held accountable globally for the coronavirus pandemic if the theory is justified.

76% of pollers agreed China should pay countries reparations. In addition, 82% of the Republicans backed the measure. Democrats and Independents each showed 72% in support.

According to National Review, the latest poll results are a reminder of the November declassified intelligence report that claimed they have “moderate confidence” that COVID-19 was a laboratory mishap. The New York Times identified that the FBI was behind that study.

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