COVID-19 Lab Leak: Another Conspiracy Theory Come True
A Commentary By Brian C. Joondeph
Where did COVID-19 come from? Was it a lab leak or from a Chinese wet market? Any scientist or researcher suggesting the former, that COVID-19 originated in or was released from a lab, was ridiculed as a conspiracy theorist. The lab in question is the Wuhan Institute of Virology, the “largest BSL4 lab in the world” the type of facility where such research would be conducted.
Wikipedia has a page entitled and devoted to this “conspiracy theory”, “COVID-19 lab leak theory” concluding, “The prevailing scientific view remained that while an accidental leak was possible, it was highly unlikely.” Aside from the fact that “there is no current confirmed intermediate host for the SARS-CoV-2,” as published in the Journal of Medical Virology in 2022 and the fact that “3 Wuhan lab researchers fell ill in November 2019,” as reported by NBC News, lab origin is still considered fringe conspiracy theory.
Who were the voices critical of this belief? MSNBC’s Nicolle Wallace called the COVID-19 lab leak theory a "conspiracy theory", as did many of her fellow travelers. Fox News reported, “MSNBC’s Joy Reid took things even further, calling the lab leak theory "debunked bunkum" being pushed by Trump.” A New York Times reporter called lab origin talk “racist.” CNN, touting itself as “the most trusted name in news,” lost much of that trust in their handling of discussion of the origins of COVID-19. As Fox News reported, “In the early months of the pandemic, then-CNN president Jeff Zucker would not allow his network to chase down the lab-leak story because he believed it was a Trump talking point”.
In other words, CNN and other corporate media followed the political science rather than the actual science in their analysis and reporting. Just as they did with masks, distancing, vaccines, off-label therapeutics, and many other aspects of COVID-19 policy that while called “conspiracy theories” are turning out to be true.
Recently FBI director Christopher Wray and the Department of Energy both concluded that the “COVID-19 pandemic likely originated from [a] lab leak in China.” Was this a recent revelation? Hardly.
"The FBI has for quite some time now assessed that the origins of the pandemic are most likely a potential lab incident in Wuhan,” Wray said in a Fox News interview. When did the FBI conclude this and why are they only now casually mentioning this?
Was the timing related to news that, “Beijing could start providing weapons and or ammunition — lethal support — to help boost Russia's war on Ukraine”? After years of FBI leaks regarding Trump-Russia collusion and Hunter Biden’s laptop, we can safely conclude that narrative building is an FBI forte and news release timing is rarely coincidental.
Perhaps the Biden administration wants to “encourage” China to stay away from Russia by starting to discuss the lab leak evidence blaming China for COVID-19.
Not only the FBI and DOE believe in the lab leak hypothesis, but also the American people. “The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that 66% of Likely U.S. voters believe it is likely that the COVID-19 virus originated in a Chinese laboratory, including 49% who say it is very likely.”
Fortunately a congressional subcommittee will be investigating this possibility, another preference of Americans, “Sixty-six percent (66%) of voters agree that Congress should conduct such an investigation, including 45% who strongly agree” according to Rasmussen Reports.
One of the major COVID-19 players, Dr. Anthony Fauci, was adamant about not exploring COVID origins. The Washington Examiner reported this week, “Dr. Anthony Fauci and others ‘prompted’ a scientific paper pushing back on the Wuhan lab leak hypothesis in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, emails show.” Is it science to “commission” a paper to reach a predetermined conclusion rather than using research and analysis to reach a conclusion?
Perhaps Dr. Fauci along with his institutions and grant funding had some role in the gain-of-function research leading to the creation of COVID-19 and prefers that his role in the COVID pandemic remain hidden and obscured. Hopefully the truth will be revealed.
Now that lab origin is no longer a conspiracy theory, Dr. Fauci is singing a different tune, saying, “We may never know” the origins of the pandemic, but that “we must all keep an open mind to all possibilities.” Why is his mind now open to all possibilities when it was closed tightly just a few years ago? Hopefully congressional hearings will help clarify Dr. Fauci’s confusion and new attitude toward COVID-19 origins.
It is unfortunate that the corporate media, over the past seven years was driven not by honesty and objectivity in news reporting, but instead by what would most damage Donald Trump. Veracity took a back seat to propaganda and a concerted effort to knowingly suppress or promote stories to damage a duly elected U.S. President and prevent his reelection.
From the Trump-Russia collusion hoax and Hunter Biden’s laptop to Tucker Carlson’s recent January 6 reveals, members of Congress and their media allies boldly lied. This also extended into all things COVID-19. If Trump said X then the media pushed an anti-X narrative, even if blatantly false, by screeching “misinformation” and “disinformation” and censoring any opposing views.
The lesson is that the corporate media, in America and internationally, has destroyed what little credibility it once had. Rasmussen Reports noted last summer, “62% of Likely U.S. voters think the problem of bias in the news media is getting worse.”
In the case of COVID-19’s origin, the government health and intelligence agencies deliberately lied and attempted to cover up their gain-of-function tinkering with Mother Nature for reasons that we hopefully learn.
The media have no one to blame but themselves for their loss of trust by the American people and continued COVID-19 revelations reinforce that trend.
Brian C. Joondeph, MD, is a physician and writer.
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