When Donald Trump was president and Republicans were questioning the origins of the coronavirus pandemic, left-wing media outlets like The Washington Post couldn’t call them liars fast enough. Back then, the Post insisted that only a stupid conspiracy theorist would suggest or question whether the coronavirus may have come from a lab in Wuhan, China.
Now, however, the Post’s Editorial Board is saying that we need to fully investigate whether it was possible that the coronavirus escaped from a Chinese lab.
On February 17, 2020, the Post rushed to insist that Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) was pushing a “coronavirus conspiracy theory that was already debunked.” As The Daily Wire reported at the time, the Post failed to “debunk” what Cotton actually said.
“We don’t know where it originated, and we have to get to the bottom of that,” Cotton said that week during an interview on Fox News. “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 also said. “And China right now is not giving any evidence on that question at all.”
The Post, however, fact-checked the claim that the coronavirus was “man-made,” something Cotton never suggested. Even the suggestion that one would question whether the coronavirus came from a Chinese lab was treated as ridiculous. Yet on Friday, the Post’s Editorial Board said such an investigation should take place, following questions raised by the World Health Organization’s stunted attempts to investigate the origins of the pandemic.
“The investigating team said the least likely pathway was an inadvertent leak from a laboratory in Wuhan, where the outbreak first exploded. The leak hypothesis was not investigated, although it is known that the Wuhan Institute of Virology was carrying out risky ‘gain of function’ experiments on bat coronaviruses, which involve modifying viral genomes to give them new properties, including the ability to infect lung cells of laboratory mice that had been genetically changed to respond as human respiratory cells would,” the Editorial Board wrote. “China has strenuously denied that a leak came from the lab, calling it a ‘farce,’ and pointing instead to frozen food packaging from abroad. Whether China likes it or not, a serious investigation must encompass zoonotic spillover, the possibility of a laboratory leak and any other possibility backed by evidence.”
The Post further stated that scientists “correctly” called for a “full scientific and forensic investigation into all possible origins” of the virus, something the outlet ridiculed Cotton for last year.
Back when Cotton was calling for more information regarding the possible origins of the virus, the WHO and China weren’t forthcoming with information. Nothing has changed, yet the Post no longer needs to claim Republicans are conspiracy theorists in order to ensure Trump didn’t win re-election.
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