The Wuhan Lab Leak Theory: Follow the Politics, Not the Science

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For a full year, the legacy corporate media’s narrative about the “conspiracy” of the Wuhan lab leak theory was “nothing to see here.” Straightfaced, they repeatedly told the American people that the virus had emerged from bats in a Wuhan wet market.

But it is becoming increasingly plausible that the cause of the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic — which cost millions of lives and tens of trillions of dollars — may have been a viral escape from a Wuhan, China, virology laboratory. According to a Wall Street Journal (WSJ) report in May, U.S. intelligence found that three researchers from the Wuhan Institute of Virology were hospitalized in November 2019 with symptoms consistent with COVID-19. WSJ correctly noted that this was well before the Chinese government claimed that the first confirmed case was on December 8, 2019. The WSJ report also is consistent with a January 2021 State Department fact sheet that reported several Wuhan Institute researchers had become ill in the fall of 2019.

Early in the pandemic, conservative publications like the Daily Mail and the Washington Times, and leaders like Senator Tom Cotton, raised serious concerns of a possible Wuhan lab leak. The New York Times labeled it a “fringe theory,” and the Washington Post dismissed it as a debunked conspiracy theory. The University of Minnesota’s Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy in May 2020 said, “Exactly Zero Evidence COVID-19 Came from a Lab.”

Oh, really?

In the Manhattan Contrarian blog titled, “‘No Evidence COVID-19 Came from a Lab’: The Media Blow Another Hole in Their Credibility,” Jane Menton wrote, “They pull the curtain closed to hide the truth and proceed to an elaborate song and dance number.” Menton then proposed some very relevant questions “that might arise in this situation that one might expect journalism to address: Is it just a pure coincidence that there is a virology lab in the town where the disease arose? Did that lab just happen to be studying the very kind of virus that causes the disease? Given these extraordinary coincidences, wouldn’t an investigation be expected? Isn’t an authoritarian institution like the Chinese Communist Party intensely focused on suppressing critical information that might make them look bad?”

The legacy media chose not to address these types of questions. Instead, they spent their time accusing President Trump of promoting conspiracy theories and only listening to those they deemed science experts. Front and center in their regime of credibility stood the flip-flopping Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID).

Fauci became a prominent voice in the first days of the pandemic while serving in the Trump White House. Standing at the press lectern day after day on television, Fauci quickly took on the appearance of a trusted physician. His love of politics and the camera made him the darling of the hostile legacy media, which was quick to crown him “America’s Doctor,” according to Tristan Justice of The Federalist.

As early as February 2020, Fauci told USA Today, “If you look at masks that you buy in the drug store, the leakage around that doesn’t really do much to protect you. There is absolutely no reason whatsoever to wear a mask.” And the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) didn’t encourage the use of face masks for similar reasons. Yet, by April, Fauci had flip-flopped and was telling Americans to wear a mask. 

Months after Fauci was fully vaccinated, he was clinging to not one but two masks, completely contrary to the CDC’s guidance that vaccinated individuals could drop the mask. Fauci later conceded that the two-mask farce was all theater which only created further doubt about the efficacy of the vaccines. 

Then the trove of Fauci emails was obtained by the Washington Post and BuzzFeed news through the Freedom of Information Act, which allows journalists to request internal government correspondence. BuzzFeed posted all 3,200 pages for the public to view. The emails revealed that Fauci was warned early in the outbreak that the coronavirus had been possibly engineered by gain-of-function research at the Wuhan laboratory. Still, he and other “experts” dismissed this controversial claim at the time. In early June, Fauci was quoted on MSNBC as saying, “It’s obviously in China’s interests to find out exactly what it is. And the ‘is’ of the natural theory would be to find that link. So, you have to keep looking for it.” Republicans, naturally, lashed out at Fauci for ignoring warnings that the virus may have been “engineered.”

Why would the American people trust anything that Fauci says going forward?

And why have we ever trusted the Chinese Communist Party (CCP)? It detained Wuhan doctors on January 1, 2020, who had warned about the virus. By January 24, government officials ordered the Wuhan Institute of Virology not to provide research samples to the University of Texas, according to Beth Baumann’s May 27, 2021, article in the Daily Wire titled, “The Wuhan Lab Leak Theory Should Have Never Been Labeled A ‘Conspiracy.’”

In his article “Following the Politics, Not the Science” (May 27, 2021), Joel Zinberg of the City Journal weighed in with his take on the early dismissals of the lab-leak theory. He maintains that “These early reassurances were based on surmise, not facts. They ignored that virologists in China – most prominently, the Wuhan Institute’s Shi Zhengli (‘the Bat Lady’) – were actively engaged in gain-of-function research… When a World Health Organization [WHO] team visited Wuhan in February 2020, the institute’s staff refused to share data, safety logs, or lab records. Remarkably, that did not stop the WHO from concluding that a lab leak was ‘extremely unlikely.’ Only four of the 313 pages of their report addressed the possibility of a lab accident.”

To their credit, some journalists are beginning to examine the issue of natural emergence and lab leak theories. Notably, Nicolas Wade published an extensive article in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists in May. He concludes there can be no definitive evidence for either theory without examining relevant Chinese data, but that a lab leak is far more likely.

The CCP authorities are unlikely to allow a thorough investigation into the true origin of COVID-19, so it may never be known. But what’s even more disturbing than the CCP’s attempt to obfuscate the pandemic’s origins is the way scientists and the legacy media in lockstep insisted that a lab leak was simply out of the question. 

Zinberg summed it up by saying, “We’ve seen this pattern play out time and again over the past year. From the value of the lockdowns and masks to the likelihood of speedy and safe vaccine development, scientists and experts based their opinions more on intuition than on facts — until the facts finally forced a reversal.”

Even flip-flopping Fauci finally announced that he has no idea how COVID-19 came about. Every American should be reminded that questions remain unanswered, and we have a God-given right to ask them and get honest answers, especially when the questions are literally a matter of life and death and our right to freedom and liberty.

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