Researchers at the Wuhan Institute of Virology in Wuhan, China (Image: AP)

Containing a rising China unites the global right in search of a narrative that boosts its particularly bombastic form of jingoism while providing an opportunity to point the finger over COVID-19,

Who can resist, then, the shocking story of the leaky Wuhan lab, an alluring conspiracy theory that feeds both needs? No surprise that the conservative media ecosystem is eager to send its talking points pinballing along their global distribution pipeline built for this purpose.

It’s a story that’s long been bubbling away on social media. This month, The Australian lent it the credibility of traditional media, with highlights from the forthcoming book from Australia’s own Walkley Award-winning reporter Sharri Markson, What Really Happened in Wuhan? The story exploded in a very predictable kind of way, across the Murdoch network (“bombshell documents” said The Sun) through Fox News in the US and on to a special Markson interview on Steve Bannon’s podcast War Room Pandemic.