Mocked as right-wing conspiracy, lab-leak theory now a possibility

With 3.5 million dead and almost $30 trillion in lost global economic output, the entire world should demand answers.

The front entrance to the Wuhan Institute of Virology (Wikimedia Commons)

Once mocked as conspiracy by corporate media, the belief that COVID-19 originated at the Wuhan Institute of Virology is now accepted as possible — even at the highest levels of government.

Tom Cotton is one of the most impressive senators in America. Yet when New York Times editors weren’t resigning after he wrote a straightforward column, progressive elites and “scientists” condemned him last year for saying we shouldn’t rule out the lab theory of coronavirus.

“We don’t know where it originated, and we have to get to the bottom of that,” Cotton said in February 2020. “We also know that just a few miles away from that food market is China’s only biosafety level 4 super laboratory that researches human infectious diseases.”

The Harvard Law graduate and former U.S. Army captain was summarily dismissed. Those theories are now getting a second look, as news organizations and government officials concede their initial assessments were premature.

CDC Director Rochelle Walensky recently admitted “a lab-based origin is one possibility,” and the Biden administration said last week it won’t rule it out.

Unfortunately, last February, the Washington Post accused the 44-year-old Arkansan of repeating a “conspiracy theory that was already debunked.”

Earlier this year, the newspaper admitted they were wrong.

“The possibility of a laboratory accident or inadvertent leak having caused the coronavirus outbreak must not be ignored,” the paper’s editorial board wrote. “The genetic makeup of the coronavirus is similar to a variant found in bats. Research into bat coronaviruses was being conducted by the Wuhan Institute of Virology, which collected samples from a mine in Yunnan province in 2012 and 2013.”

This is essentially what Cotton said nearly a year prior.

When virologist Li-Meng Yan told Fox News last fall, “I can present solid scientific evidence to our audience that this virus, COVID-19 SARS-CoV-2 virus, actually is not from nature. It is a man-made virus created in the lab,” PolitiFact gave her a “pants on fire!” rating for dishonesty. Now the left-leaning website has retracted its article.

“When this fact-check was first published in September 2020, PolitiFact’s sources included researchers who asserted the SARS-CoV-2 virus could not have been manipulated,” an editor’s note said. “That assertion is now more widely disputed. For that reason, we are removing this fact-check from our database pending a more thorough review.”

It was foolish, of course, to originally reject the theory outright, sans evidence. Yet probably for political reasons, Cotton and Yan’s comments were considered “dangerous” ideas 15 months ago; finally the country seems ready for the conversation the senator sought more than a year ago.

Cotton won’t wait for an apology, but as Mark Halperin opined Tuesday, “the White House and its Dominant Media allies to do some soul searching and after-action analysis regarding why about half the country has absolute distrust of their work.”

The Federalist’s Drew Holden recently posted an incredibly informative thread on the “evolution” in coverage and accompanying duplicity, while National Review’s Michael Brendan Dougherty urged an “audit” of the entire response.

“This pandemic has exacerbated the polarization of elite and populist opinion,” Dougherty wrote. “Maybe that’s the first action point going forward. The recognition that ‘expert consensus’ is a guild’s conspiracy against the public. Real experts disagree, often violently. If everyone agrees, then nobody can be blamed, and we can all keep going to the same conferences and approving each other’s grant funding.”

Corporate media’s reckless behavior notwithstanding, a legitimate review of how the pandemic began requires Communist China and the Wuhan Institute of Virology to be transparent.

Should we expect either entity to allow a rigorous investigation? Heavens, no; not even on a life and death issue of global importance will the CCP entertain the idea that its lab engaged in negligence or malfeasance.

After a desultory WHO investigation claimed the virus passed from bats to people, the rogue regime continues to stifle serious reportage on the matter. But China’s story about where the virus originated has fallen apart.

“The CCP was actively engaged in viral research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology,” former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo tweeted Monday. “Every piece of evidence points to a leak from this laboratory.”

With 3.5 million dead and almost $30 trillion in lost global economic output, the entire world should demand answers.