Thanks for your writing and research here.
I'm going to point to an American problem that made everything worse -- the two-party system, which has devolved into the automatic dismissal of anything the other party says. If Republicans say it's a lab leak, Democrats say it's not, and neither side has any evidence. If Democrats wear masks, Republicans don't. People were for a mad dash to develop vaccines when they were associated with Trump and against them when they were associated with Fauci.
If we had multiple parties or even a country of independents, maybe we'd be more likely to gather data first and *then* decide, not the other way around.