In an editorial published last week in the journal Science, world leaders in the hunt for the origins of the coronavirus pandemic wrote, bluntly, that ruling out the "lab leak" theory would be a mistake.
The authors, including World Health Organisation director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, declared the "laboratory hypotheses must be examined carefully, with a focus on labs in the location where the first reports of human infections emerged in Wuhan".
Two years after Covid-19 found its way into the human population in the Chinese city en route to killing almost five million people worldwide, there remains no evidence that scientists working with animals in Wuhan were responsible.
Any suggestion that the leak was intentional, accidental or in any way linked to the Wuhan Institute of Virology is met with outrage and resentment from China. Canberra's relationship with Beijing is a fine example of that.
The hostility and secrecy from China makes the task of searching for the truth incredibly difficult, but one that researchers are not willing to give up on.
Earlier this month, the WHO formed the Scientific Advisory Group for the Origins of Novel Pathogens (SAGO), a group of international experts from fields including virology, epidemiology, animal health and tropical medicine.
The group's task is two-fold: Find out what started Covid-19 and help the world prepare for the next pandemic.
SAGO will aim to do what the WHO was unable to do in 2021 after it was given a mandate to find the origins of the virus.
But there is a familiar roadblock.
As Lawrence Gostin, professor of global health law at Georgetown University said, China will not simply throw open its doors to investigators.
"If you believe that SAGO will answer the question, what was the origin of SARS-CoV-2, then you are sadly mistaken because there is little to no chance of them gaining access to information or on-the-ground investigation as far as China is concerned," he told the Washington Post.
The stonewalling from China is nothing new despite legitimate questions regarding what went on in Wuhan prior to the outbreak.
The head of the Chinese team working on the WHO investigation, Liang Wannian, said earlier this year that while the first official case in Wuhan was recorded on December 8, 2019, "our research and the previous related research papers of Chinese scientists fully suggest … December 8 is probably not the primary case. There might be other cases that occurred before."
In her book What Really Happened in Wuhan, Sky News' Sharri Markson went further. She noted that a Wuhan doctor revealed high school classes in the city were mysteriously being shut down in early November – something which would never happen over a mere flu outbreak.
By December, comments about the new illness in Wuhan were being scrubbed from social media, with healthcare workers also forbidden from speaking out and facing harsh punishments if they shared information about it.
And on January 1, 2020, crucial early samples taken from ill Wuhan residents were destroyed "under the strict orders of the Chinese government as it sought to cover up news of the emerging virus".
In recent months, there have been growing calls across the globe for a deeper investigation into the virus, how it emerged and the potential role China played in covering up the spread, in order to prevent future tragedies.
Markson told news.com.au widespread misinformation and inaction in the early days of the pandemic, and losing her own grandmother to the virus, pushed her to search for the truth.
She said she had been particularly frustrated by the denial of the possibility that Covid-19 was the result of a lab leak.
Whether the team at SAGO has more luck getting to the truth is yet to be seen. The group's search is being touted as the last chance to find the virus' origins.
But its investigation will depend largely on how cooperative China is willing to be.