It was less than a year ago when Democrats and their media supporters denounced anyone who dared to suggest the coronavirus may have accidentally escaped from a lab in Wuhan, China.
“Senior Biden administration officials overseeing an intelligence review into the origins of the coronavirus now believe the theory that the virus accidentally escaped from a lab in Wuhan is at least as credible as the possibility that it emerged naturally in the wild — a dramatic shift from a year ago, when Democrats publicly downplayed the so-called lab leak theory,” CNN reported on Friday.
As we all know, the only difference between now and last year when the lab leak theory was a “conspiracy theory” that had been “debunked” is that Donald Trump is no longer president. CNN acknowledged that “Little new evidence has emerged to move the needle in one direction or another,” but that because “top Biden officials” are open to the theory, it’s newsworthy.
This, of course, was a very different take last year when Trump and Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) were open to the idea. Back then, Cotton was “fact checked” by people who had no first-hand knowledge of where the virus came from, but who insisted China must be telling the truth that the coronavirus originated in a wet market.
“Current intelligence reinforces the belief that the virus most likely originated naturally, from animal-human contact and was not deliberately engineered, the sources said. But that does not preclude the possibility that the virus was the result of an accidental leak from the Wuhan Institute of Virology, where coronavirus research was being conducted on bats — although many scientists familiar with the research say such a leak is unlikely,” CNN reported.
Though previously thought unlikely, the Biden administration now thinks the lab-leak theory is as credible as the natural origins explanation, yet they’re not being treated as conspiracy theory morons.
Recall that The Washington Post changed its headline regarding Cotton’s questions regarding the origins of the coronavirus. The original headline stated that “Tom Cotton keeps repeating a coronavirus conspiracy theory that was already debunked.” In early June, the headline was changed to “Tom Cotton keeps repeating a coronavirus fringe theory that scientists have disputed.” The article was also updated with a “correction” that reads:
Earlier versions of this story and its headline inaccurately characterized comments by Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) regarding the origins of the coronavirus. The term ‘debunked’ and The Post’s use of ‘conspiracy theory’ have been removed because, then as now, there was no determination about the origins of the virus.
As The Daily Wire previously reported, the Post’s original fact check claimed Cotton said something he didn’t say. The fact check claimed Cotton was suggesting the coronavirus was manmade, something he didn’t claim.
“We don’t know where it originated, and we have to get to the bottom of that,” Cotton said on Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures.” “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.”
“Now, we don’t have evidence that this disease originated there, but because of China’s duplicity and dishonesty from the beginning, we need to at least ask the question to see what the evidence says,” Cotton added. “And China right now is not giving any evidence on that question at all.”
Yet the Post and other media outlets decided to “debunk” the claim that the coronavirus was manmade, something Cotton didn’t claim.
The Daily Wire’s Joseph Curl explained in June how the liberal media changed its mind on the lab leak theory once President Joe Biden was in office:
ABC News’ Jonathan Karl, whose own network ignored the story, said “a lot of people have egg on their face” for dismissing the COVID-19 lab leak theory simply because it came from Trump, saying not everything is false just because “Donald Trump says them.”
“This was an idea that was first put forward by Mike Pompeo, secretary of state, [and] President Donald Trump. And look, some things may be true even if Donald Trump said them. Because Trump was saying so much else, it was just out of control. And because he was — you know — making a frankly racist appeal, talking about ‘Kung Flu’ and the China virus, he put forward this notion … and it was widely dismissed,” Karl said.
New York Times reporter David Leonhardt last week said he thinks people “leaped to dismiss” the theory because it was being touted by Trump and Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR).
“I think a lot of people on the political left and people in the media made this mistake and said ‘Wow, if Tom Cotton is saying something, it can’t be true,’” Leonhardt said on CNN. “Or they assumed that. And that’s not right.”
If Trump said something, the media leapt to claim it was false. If Biden says the same thing, the media will uncritically accept it as true.