Experts giving COVID ‘lab leak’ theory a second look after mainstream media shouted it was ‘debunked’

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Experts giving COVID 'lab leak' theory a second look after mainstream media shouted it was 'debunked'


Once dismissed by mainstream media as a “fringe” and “debunked” theory, the suggestion that the devastating coronavirus leaked from a Wuhan superlab instead of jumping from animals to humans is no longer considered extravagant.

Former Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) director Robert Redfield said last week he believed the pathogen had unwittingly escaped from a laboratory in Wuhan, a city known to be a Chinese viral studies center. The Wuhan Institute of Virology is also known to perform bat coronavirus experiments.

A joint WHO-China investigation, repeatedly delayed, declared the theory of laboratory leaks “extremely unlikely” last week, but experts are already questioning its findings due to the notoriously misleading Chinese government influence.

Even the head of the World Health Organization, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, much maligned for his obsession with China at the start of the pandemic, said the research team’s assessment of whether the virus entered the human population as a result of a laboratory incident was not “widespread.” enough ‘and requires further investigation.

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Many media outlets rejected the idea last year, however, when it was originally claimed by Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark. The crackdown on Cotton came amid denunciations by prominent members of the Trump administration calling COVID-19 a “Chinese” or “Wuhan” virus.

Articles published by The Washington Post (“Conspiracy Theory Debunked Already”), The New York Times (“The Fringe Theory”), The HuffPost (“The Fringe Theory Debunked”) and The Daily Beast (“Conspiracy Theory” ) aggressively challenged Cotton’s hypothesis.

MSNBC host Brian Williams quoted the Post on his schedule on February 17, 2020, saying: “Republican Senator from Arkansas and staunch Trump ally Tom Cotton has been in trouble while commenting on the coronavirus, which proves virulent and deadly and spreads rapidly. The Washington Post headline puts it this way: “Tom Cotton keeps repeating a coronavirus conspiracy theory that has already been debunked. “”

Vanity Fair linked the theory to President Donald Trump’s efforts to attack China following the virus outbreak, saying it “added a frightening new layer to Donald Trump’s blame strategy on China.”

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The HuffPost reported last January that Cotton made “unsubstantiated allegations” against the Chinese government for failing to stop the spread of the coronavirus, one of the most embarrassing examples of liberal media repeating propaganda pro-China to denounce a conservative. Indeed, reports later showed that the authoritarian Chinese government silenced doctors and whistleblowers during the critical first weeks of the pandemic.

Outlets have at times confused Cotton’s belief that it might have come from a lab with the idea that China has deliberately designed a bioweapon, which Redfield and Cotton said they did not believe. On the contrary, Redfield said the coronavirus’s highly efficient transmission capacity suggested to him that it had been experimented with in a lab.

Liberal media figures, such as the Washington Post’s Jennifer Rubin and Daily Beast’s Molly Jong-Fast, have been thrilled to pile on Cotton.

“The far right has now found its own viral conspiracy theory,” CNN left host Fareed Zakaria said on March 8, 2020, of Cotton’s remarks. Three days later, CNN’s John Vause declared Cotton’s comments “misinformation” while interviewing infectious disease expert Dr Anthony Fauci.

“Well, I’m not going to comment on what an individual says. But in general I can tell you that theories that are not based on evidence and facts can often mislead people, ”Fauci said at the time.

The Post later reported in 2020 that the US State Department warned in 2018 of inadequate security measures at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, where bat coronavirus experiments were taking place.

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Cotton told Fox News Primetime “Monday that the” best evidence “for him, although circumstantial, indicates that the virus came from an” accidental breach “in a Wuhan laboratory.

“Tens of millions of Americans have seen their lives turned upside down over the past year. They lost their jobs. Their businesses have closed, ”he said. “They lost loved ones. I don’t think these Americans just want to turn the page and let the past go. We need to get to the bottom of what happened in Wuhan and how the Chinese Communists unleashed this scourge on the world and we need to hold them accountable. ”

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China has promoted its own conspiracy theories about the origins of the pandemic, including accusing the US military of helping to spread it.

The U.S. intelligence community continues to believe the virus originated in animals and did not leak from a lab.

Alexandra Hein of Fox News contributed to this report.

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