After more than a year in which left-wing media outlets, Democrat politicians, and Dr. Anthony Fauci insisted that the claim by former President Trump that the virus likely emerged from a Chinese lab was nothing more than a “debunked conspiracy theory,” those who mocked the notion are now shamelessly backpedaling while nonetheless refusing to admit their role in misleading the public.
The so-called “lab leak” hypothesis suggests that the virus escaped from the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV). The WIV is the only Biosafety Level-4 lab in China – which means it is certified to handle the most dangerous biological specimens. The lab happens to be located just miles from the “wet market” where Chinese authorities have maintained the virus originated. Trump’s suggestion—one he first made in April of 2020—was not without basis. For one thing, Chinese labs have a history of safety breaches; a SARS outbreak in Beijing in 2004 was eventually traced back to another Chinese lab.
Despite the early evidence, the media slandered former President Trump, Republican lawmakers, and independent-minded journalists and scientists as conspiracy theorists. When Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) raised the possibility that the virus could have been created in a lab, The New York Times accused him of spreading a “rumor” and “repeating a fringe theory.” The Washington Post also called the theory “debunked.” Dr. Fauci said that the scientific evidence “is very, very strongly leaning toward this could not have been artificially or deliberately manipulated.” Even the World Health Organization (WHO), which has served as a propaganda arm for the Chinese Communist Party from day one of the pandemic, said it was “extremely unlikely” the virus escaped from a lab.
As late as March 31 of this year, CNN published a headline describing the lab leak theory as “something out of a comic book.” During the 2020 election cycle, mainstream media outlets and Congressional Democrats repeatedly labeled former President Trump and his Republican allies as racist and “anti-science” for pursuing an investigation into the origins of COVID-19.
Now that the left has achieved its goal of driving former President Trump out of office, however, many in the media and the scientific community are pushing for a more serious inquiry into the lab leak theory, forcing naysayers to furiously backtrack on their previous assertions.
Just days before former President Trump left office, the State Department published a fact sheet confirming some elements of the lab leak theory. Among other evidence, the document cited intelligence that some researchers inside the Wuhan lab had become sick with COVID-like symptoms before the first documented case in China. The State Department also described how “the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has systematically prevented a transparent and thorough investigation of the COVID-19 pandemic’s origin, choosing instead to devote enormous resources to deceit and disinformation.”
Much of the recent flip-flopping by the media and so-called experts have come after 18 prominent scientists published a letter arguing for the plausibility of the lab leak theory. The scientists asserted, “Theories of accidental release from a lab and zoonotic spillover both remain viable,” and called for further investigation. Since then, many more leading health experts have spoken up voicing their doubts about the Chinese government’s claim that the virus evolved naturally in bats in the area surrounding the WIV.
Dr. Fauci –the king of COVID confusion – now says he is “not convinced” the virus developed naturally. Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the WHO, is timidly asking for “further investigation.”
Finding the truth about whether COVID-19 originated in a Chinese lab will be of critical importance to global health and security considerations in the years to come. While the WIV is the first Level-4 lab in China, there are plans to develop several more such labs throughout the country. In light of this evidence and the reluctance of the Chinese Communist Party to allow for a transparent investigation, many are asking if other countries, including the U.S., should continue to help China possess and perform research on the most dangerous pathogens in the world.
In the end, due to China’s opacity, obfuscation, and secrecy, the world may never know the full story about the origins of the pandemic that has taken more than 3.4 million lives. But one thing is for certain: from the beginning, all the evidence has suggested we should not ignore the lab leak theory. Instead of objectively reviewing the facts and encouraging further investigation, Democrats and the mainstream media worked to downplay and discredit legitimate concerns raised by the Trump administration—and they did it for transparently political purposes. This coordinated coverup has only exacerbated public confusion about the virus. If the Chinese Communist Party did engineer this virus and let it loose upon humanity, the world must know—and the Chinese government must be held accountable.