You may recall that, right back to the beginning of the pandemic, some people were speculating that this was either an escaped bioweapon [very dubious] or the result of a lab leak during “gain of function” research. This was pooh-poohed all over as a conspiracy theory, but from the beginning there were mainstream media sources who questioned the CCP’s official narrative: as I reported on April 15 last year,
Washington Post, in a rare display of journalism, dropped a bombshell (archive copy at http://archive.is/Tg5oo in case it gets “airbrushed”)” It appears that my friend “masgramondou” was not far off the mark with his origin theory for the epidemic.
The other day, the Wall Street Journal reported that back in November 2019, three employees of the Wuhan Institute of Virology were hospitalized with a disease that wasn’r idenitfied at the time, but with hindsight might well have been COVID.
And now, Dr. Anthony “Weathervane” Fauci is saying he is not sure about natural origin. Which leaves a number of media sites furiously retro-editing their earlier report. Tim Pool has comments:
Jordan Schachtel [via Instapindit], however, argues that the real COVID19 crisis was caused by the Chinese disinformation operation accompanying it.
But why not embrace the healing power of “and”? A lab accident, the regime faces a major PR debacle, then improvises “making lemons into lemonade”…
ADDENDUM 2: Welcome, Instapundit readers! Check out the cover story in the UK Spectator by veteran science journalist Matt Ridley [himself a Ph.D. biologist]: The COVID lab leak theory is looking increasingly plausible.
In March last year, it was widely agreed by everybody sensible, me included, that talk of the pandemic originating in a laboratory was pseudoscientific nonsense almost on a par with UFOs and the Loch Ness monster. My own reasoning was that Mother Nature is a better genetic engineer than we will ever be, so something as accomplished at infection and spread could not possibly have been put together in a lab.
Today, the mood has changed. Even Dr Anthony Fauci, the US President’s chief medical advisor, now says he is ‘not convinced’ the virus emerged naturally. This month a letter in Science magazine from 18 senior virologists and other experts — including a close collaborator of the Wuhan lab at the centre of the debate, Ralph Baric — demanded that such a hypothesis be taken seriously. Suddenly, too, journalists have woken up and begun writing articles admitting they might have been hasty in dismissing a lab leak as a Trumpian conspiracy theory last year. CNN reported this week that the Biden administration shut down the State Department’s investigation into this.
The turning point, ironically, was the ‘press conference’ on 9 February in Wuhan where a team of western scientists representing the World Health Organisation sat meekly through a three-hour propaganda session at the end of a 12-day study tour. Strictly chaperoned throughout, the western scientists (approved by the Chinese government) had mainly listened to presentations by their Chinese colleagues during their visit and done no research themselves. Yet the result was presented to the world as if it was the WHO’s conclusion.
The press conference was told that the lab leak theory was ‘extremely unlikely’ and would not be investigated further, because the scientists at the Wuhan Institute of Virology said so during a three-hour visit by the study team. By contrast, the theory favoured by the Chinese government — that the virus reached Wuhan on frozen meat from a rabbit or ferret-badger farm in southern China or southeast Asia — was said to be plausible, despite a total lack of evidence.
So risible was this little stage play that even WHO’s director-general, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, had to backtrack a few days later: ‘All hypotheses remain open and require further study.’ […]
The problem is partly that journalists confused two different theories last year: that the virus might have escaped from a laboratory openly doing research that was intended to prevent a pandemic, or that a secret project to create a nasty virus for use as a bioweapon had either gone wrong or succeeded all too well. The latter theory remains implausible; the former has never been so.
ADDENDUM 3: well, well… Facebook ends ban on posts assering COVID-19 was man-made (WSJ)
ADDENDUM 4: US Senate unanimously passed amendment to end US federal funding of “gain of function research” in China. [This research was originally begun as a US-Chinese joint venture, then forcibly shut down in the US in 2015 because of the risk involved, after which it continued in China, apparently with some US funding.]
ADDENDUM 5: more from Tim Pool: Fauci faces firing as massive scandal about to erupt after Fauci admits funding went to Wuhan lab