Of late, Covid-19 has been getting a geopolitical boost from the tailwinds of political and scientific narratives originating primarily from the US. In May, US President Joe Biden ordered an intelligence probe into the origins of the novel coronavirus or SARS-CoV-2. The fact that it originated in China is undisputed. Scientific suspicions that the virus is an artificial creation and probably leaked from the Wuhan Institute of Virology have now received a booster dose. Anthony Fauci, the Chief Medical Adviser to the US President, stated that he never played down the possibility of the lab leak in China for political reasons. In the last few weeks, a slew of scientific papers have reinforced the lab leak theory, with the G7 and the European Union adding political traction to the call for concerted action to uncover the truth. International politics has now inserted itself into the investigative process and is gaining momentum within the spaces of scientific doubts regarding the origin of the virus. In the long run, the scientific quest for facts draped in political free play could eventually be the information missile that could do a lot of damage to China.
In the case of Covid-19, science, geography and politics could create a potent brew in the information age. In global geopolitics, this could become deadly for China. For China’s detractors, it might provide informational fuel and create the psychological effect that can, at the global level, drive popular anger directed against the country. It is an anger that has the potential to sustain because of the colossal damage caused by Covid to lives and livelihood.