Liberal Journalist Slammed Media’s Dismissal of Lab Leak COVID-19 Theory

"298 061 001" (United States government work) by U.S. Department of Energy

Liberal journalist Matthew Iglesias slammed mainstream media in relation to the dismissal of the lab leak COVID-19 theory. He wrote on Wednesday saying that it was a catastrophic “f*ck up” that unfairly insulted Republican Senator Tom Cotton. 

“Tom Cotton” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by Gage Skidmore

What Yglesias had to say

On his website, SlowBoring, Yglesias argued that the media error in this case largely comes from Cotton’s immediate theory.

This theory stated last year that COVID-19 comes from a lab in Wuhan. Moreover, Cotton also accused China of intentionally leaking the bio-weapon. These theories together with Cotton’s reputation as a China hawk led the media to mischaracterize his statements. 

From the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Cotton had already questioned the Chinese government’s records of the coronavirus animal origins. There are also other theories that emerged, such as the Chinese might have intentionally engineered the virus. 

Meanwhile, in February 2020, Chinese Ambassador to the United States Cui Tiankai, appeared on CBS’ Face The Nation. In this segment, he was asked about Cotton’s accusations that the virus may have originated from a biological warfare program. Tiankai called the allegations “crazy”.

On the other hand, managing editor Blake Hounshell connected the writeup of the interview and stated that it is wild to see the Republican senator “spreading rumors” related to a biological weapon from China, which was debunked easily. 

Yglesias then wrote that at this point, Cotton had already achieved what he called the “greatest achievement possible”, being unfairly censored by the mainstream media. 

Mainstream media released a “scientific consensus” that doesn’t exist

Last year, the Washington Post, New York Times, and other media outlets wrote that Cotton adopted the conspiracy theory.

Yglesias wrote that the story published by the New York Times is a reminder that COVID politics is a different era. He added that one of the reasons that the author doubted that the virus was an intentionally engineered biological weapon is because the virus didn’t affect younger and healthier people.

Yglesias then wrote that the main problem comes from a small group of fact-checkers and reporters. This group published a “scientific consensus” supporting the animal origins of coronavirus, despite the fact that there is no such consensus that existed.

Yglesias added that, essentially, the statements that Cotton made in relation to the Chinese bio-attack turned into a “fake claim.”

Then, fact-checker Glenn Kessler mocked Sen. Ted Cruz in public. Kessler said that the lab leak theory that Republicans espouse is “virtually impossible.” On Tuesday, a new timeline published by Kessler documented how the lab leak theory “suddenly” become credible.

Among the prominent people who believe that the COVID-19 originated from a lab in China are as follows: former Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Robert Redfield, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and former President Trump.