What do you do when a health crisis gets politicized beyond reason? You send in a bunch of hyper-partisan agencies to investigate, of course!

For months, anyone who doubted that the coronavirus originated from a wet market in Wuhan was labeled a fringe, tin-foil hat wearing conspiracy theorist.

The ‘serious people’ in our media, as Jonathan Karl labeled them, mocked the likes of former president Donald Trump, Sen. Tom Cotton and Sen. Rand Paul for even broaching the subject.

However, towards the end of Trump’s administration, classified information revealed that in November 2019, three workers from the Wuhan Institute of Virology went to a hospital due to flu-like symptoms.

The press would have been totally fine ignoring this inconvenient information. Unfortunately for the mainstream media, the bombshell news picked up steam.

Even a sophisticated elite like Jon Stewart joked about the media’s willful ignorance and lack of common sense when it came to questioning the origins of the virus.

When the Biden administration finally came to terms with the possibility that the virus could have escaped from a lab, the focus shifted to investigating what really happened in Wuhan.

This week it was reported that the classified report on the origins of COVID-19 offered up ‘inconclusive results’.

Did anyone expect otherwise? After all, China refused to cooperate in the investigation.

One Wall Street Journal headline read, ‘COVID-19 Origin Researchers Warn Time Is Running Out to Find Answers.’

At the risk of sounding pessimistic — hasn’t time already run out?

I’m no Inspector Clouseau but even I know that a major factor in solving an investigation is, you know, starting the investigation in a timely manner. The more time passes, the more risk increases that evidence will be mishandled or even destroyed. Anyone who has watched an episode of Dateline knows as much.

To make matters worse, the US intelligence agencies are not in agreement about the results of their 90-day effort. No one in the United States can agree on anything, so why would our intelligence agencies be on the same page? Then again, what if the vagueness of the conclusions was the point all along?

Charles Krauthammer once said, ‘Whenever you’re faced with an explanation of what’s going on in Washington, the choice between incompetence and conspiracy, always choose incompetence.’

Why do incompetence and conspiracy have to be mutually exclusive? In the case of the Wuhan lab investigation — it very well could be a mix of both.

If the US intelligence agencies were able to get to the bottom of the virus origins, they might find that China is not the only country at fault.

The National Institute of Health funded EcoHealth Alliance, a US-based NGO. EcoHealth Alliance gave the Wuhan Institute of Virology $600,000 over the course of several years. In numerous testy Senate hearing exchanges between Dr Fauci and Sen. Rand Paul, Fauci specifically denied that the National Institute of Health had ever funded gain-of-function research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology. This was a lie. When given the opportunity to correct said lie, Dr Fauci doubled down.

Fauci, who is the head of the NIH, made public statements about how the virus likely jumped from an animal to a human. His emails however show that he was acutely aware that there was a possibility this virus was man-made.

In a January 2020 email, Fauci received this information from Kristian Andersen, an immunologist: ‘The unusual features of the virus make up a really small part of the genome (<0.1 percent) so one has to look really closely at all of the sequences to see that some of the features (potentially) look engineered.’

Based off his email exchanges, Dr Fauci might not have been as shocked as the rest of us to learn about the three Wuhan lab workers who came down with flu-like symptoms in 2019.

By refusing to cooperate in the probe, the Chinese government is certainly not helping the investigation. Nevertheless, there are a lot of questions that could be answered by officials in the United States.

Still in June the director of National Intelligence, Avril Haines, told Yahoo! News that investigators were hoping to find a ‘smoking gun’, but it might not happen.

It is possible that the intelligence agencies won’t find the smoking gun because they are incompetent. They are more skilled at finding LEGO sets in Pennsylvania and orchestrating kidnapping plots in Michigan. But it’s also possible that these agencies don’t lack the capabilities to find the smoking gun — they merely lack the will.