The Left has perpetrated too many hoaxes in the past seven years for us to remember them all. But consider the most consequential among them: President Trump worked with the Russians to win the presidency in 2016, the content found on Hunter Biden’s laptop was Russian disinformation, the Jan. 6 Capitol riot was an insurrection, and the coronavirus had zoonotic origins, meaning it had jumped from an animal to a human.
Without evidence, Democrats presented these narratives as if they were settled facts and those who had the temerity to reject them were quickly targeted by the press.
As it always happens, long after these frauds have achieved their intended purpose, we learn they were based on lies. And these revelations always come without fanfare. There might be a correction buried in the 25th paragraph of a New York Times article – or not – and the news cycle moves on. No one is ever held accountable.
On Sunday, the Wall Street Journal reported that the Energy Department had revised their assessment on the origins of the Covid-19 pandemic based on new intelligence. Sources who were familiar with a “classified intelligence report” told the Journal the agency now concludes with “low confidence” that the virus came from an accidental laboratory leak at the Wuhan Institute of Virology in Wuhan, China.
But wasn’t this always the most logical conclusion?
At a Jan. 30, 2020, hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) told colleagues: “This coronavirus is a catastrophe on the scale of Chernobyl for China. But actually, it’s probably worse than Chernobyl, which was localized in its effect. The coronavirus could result in a global pandemic.
“I would note that Wuhan has China’s only biosafety level-four super laboratory that works with the world’s most deadly pathogens to include, yes, coronavirus.”
Cotton was widely mocked by the liberal media over these remarks and similar ones to follow. He wasn’t alone. Everyone who thought it was possible the virus may have escaped from the WIV where gain-of-function research was being conducted and that the disease may have been enhanced (intensified, made more lethal) during their lab experiments, were called conspiracy theorists. The left claimed that blaming China for the virus was racist and xenophobic.
Long after the fact, we learned that Dr. Kristian Andersen, a virologist at the Scripps Research Institute, told then-Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Dr. Anthony Fauci in a Jan. 31 email that he and his colleagues had noticed “some of COVID-19’s features look possibly engineered.”
He wrote, “[T]he genome is inconsistent with expectations from evolutionary theory.”
Within days, Fauci took steps to shut down the conversation about the lab leak theory among members of the science community
In early February 2020, Botao Xiao, a professor at South China University of Technology, published a paper arguing that “the killer coronavirus probably originated from a laboratory in Wuhan.”
“He withdrew the paper a few weeks later after Chinese authorities insisted no accident had taken place,” according to a fact check in the Washington Post.
Did no one wonder why Xiao withdrew his paper? Or find it curious that those who refused to fall into step with the Chinese Communist Party’s version of events had a way of disappearing?
The turning point in the debate over the pandemic’s origins came on Feb. 19, when a group of 27 “renowned” public health scientists released a joint statement in the medical journal The Lancet.
It read: “We stand together to strongly condemn conspiracy theories suggesting that COVID-19 does not have a natural origin. Scientists from multiple countries have published and analyzed genomes of the causative agent … and they overwhelmingly conclude that this coronavirus originated in wildlife.”
The Post reported that this pivotal statement had been drafted and organized by Peter Daszak, the president of EcoHealth Alliance, a U.S.-based scientific non-profit that had funded research at the WIV. Daszak was also a member of the World Health Organization investigative team that concluded a lab leak was “extremely unlikely.”
The Lancet letter was instrumental in helping China deflect blame for the pandemic. The so-called “experts” had done the world a great disservice.
In May 2021, as the circumstantial evidence pointing to laboratory origins of the virus began to mount, journalists who had once scoffed at the idea, abruptly and in unison, opened to the possibility.
So, here we are again in an all too familiar situation. In typical understated fashion, another right-wing “conspiracy theory” has become the news.
A previous version of this article appeared in The Washington Examiner.
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