- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 9, 2020

What is the origin of the new coronavirus? It is an alarming topic. Still, a notable portion of the public — particularly conservatives — believes that the virus emerged from a laboratory rather than nature, according to a new poll released on Wednesday.

Three-in-10 (29%) say it most likely was created in a lab — 23% believe the current strain of the coronavirus was developed intentionally in a laboratory; another 6% say it was most likely made accidentally in a lab, according to a new Pew Research Center poll.

A plurality of the respondents — 43% — said the virus came about naturally while a quarter say they aren’t sure where the virus originated.

Then there’s a partisan divide: 37% of Republicans say the virus came from a lab, compared to 21% of Democrats. Among conservative Republicans, 39% say the coronavirus came out of a lab — “the largest share of any ideological group,” the analysis noted. Only 15% of liberals said the virus was a product of a laboratory.

In addition, 26% of white respondents said the virus came from a lab, compared to 34% of blacks and 39% of Hispanics; 19% of college graduates agree, as do 35% of high school graduates plus 30% of men and 29% of women.

The poll of 8,914 U.S. adults was conducted March 10-16 and released Wednesday.

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