This fearless, deeply reported book about laboratory accidents asks the haunting question some elite scientists don’t want the public to entertain: Did the COVID-19 pandemic start with a lab leak in Wuhan, China?
This is an obvious question. Yet there’s been an extraordinary effort by government officials in China, as well as leading scientific experts in the United States and around the world, to shut down any investigation or discussion of the lab leak theory. In private, however, some of the world’s elite scientists have seen a lab accident as a very real and horrifying possibility. They know what the public doesn’t. Lab accidents happen with shocking frequency. Even at the world’s best-run labs.
That’s among the revelations from Alison Young, the award-winning investigative reporter who has spent nearly 15 years uncovering shocking safety breaches at prestigious U.S. laboratories for USA Today and other respected news outlets.
In Pandora’s Gamble, Young goes deep into the troubling history — and enormous risks — of leaks and accidents at scientific labs. She takes readers on a riveting journey around the world to some of the worst lab mishaps in history, including the largely unknown stories of the lab workers at the U.S. Army’s Camp Detrick who suffered devastating infections at alarming rates during World War II. And her groundbreaking reporting exposes for the first time disturbing new details about recent accidents at prestigious laboratories – and the alarming gaps in government oversight that put all of us at risk.
Sourced through meticulous reporting and exclusive interviews with key players including Dr. Anthony Fauci, former CDC Director Tom Frieden and others, Young’s examination reveals that the only thing rare about lab accidents is the public rarely finds out about them. Because when accidents happen, powerful people and institutions often work hard to keep the information secret.