To understand that a Wuhan lab leak was the most likely scenario you had to ignore the mainstream U.S. media, read Leslie Eastman at Legal Insurrection, and just use common sense.
Leslie Eastman is on vacation emptying Puerto Rico of its rum stockpiles. It’s days like this I wish she were here.
The reason is that Leslie has been courageous, precise, and determined for almost three years in writing about the Wuhan lab leak theory. She never advocated for one theory or another, but documented facts and studies that ran contrary to the media narrative, which was that the virus developed naturally in a wet market in Wuhan. Leslie’s coverage of the origin and other issues surrounding the virus and pandemic spans hundreds of posts dating back to January 2020.
Her first post on January 10, 2020, ominously noting, China Struggles to Deal With New Pneumonia-Like Illness. Less than two weeks later, Leslie wrote, CDC expected to announce first US case of “Wuhan Virus” as outbreak spreads. The rest, as they say, is history.
Part of that history was the Chinese government’s attempt to stifle discussion about the origin of the virus, declaring through its proxy the WHO, that even to mention “Wuhan” in connection with “virus” was racist. The term Wuhan Coronavirus, commonly used in the mainstream media, disappeared almost overnight in the media and elsewhere, including campuses. So thorough was the linguistic manipulation, even Grammerly got into the act.
Those in the media have been the ones calling it "the Wuhan virus/coronavirus" for weeks, so I guess they were being racist/bigoted this whole time. pic.twitter.com/ibogMw3rK0
— Julio Rosas (@Julio_Rosas11) March 9, 2020
There was nothing racist about identifying the city (Wuhan is not a race or ethnicity) where the virus started, as was common with diseases. But the Chinese government’s attempt to absolve itself of responsibility manipulated very willing liberal westerners, who gladly took up the cause of refusing to identify even the city where the outbreak took place.
I documented this language manipulation in If you claim that calling it ‘Wuhan coronavirus’ is racist, you are part of the cover-up (March 30, 2020):
The Chinese government caused this worldwide pandemic. It started in Wuhan. It should have stopped in Wuhan, but the Chinese government covered up, lied, and destroyed evidence.
How various countries responded is not the problem. The Chinese government threw the world overboard, and now is claiming the world should have known how to swim better.
The Chinese government now is deep into a disinformation campaign denying that this all started in Wuhan. A key component of that campaign is controlling the language used to describe the pandemic, stripping it of its connection to Wuhan and China, mandating that only generic terminology is used. Meanwhile, Chinese diplomats and media spread claims that the virus either started in the U.S. or was planted in Wuhan by the U.S.
So if you claim that calling it Wuhan coronavirus is racist, you are part of the cover-up. Speaking the truth is not the problem, covering up the truth is the problem.
That post, which was absolutely correct and has withstood the test of time, was one of the items used by student activists at Cornell Law School against me in June 2020 when they organized an ultimately-failed boycott of my course.
From early on, Leslie noted dissident views, including how Wuhan Virus Watch: Whistleblower doctor dies of disease (February 7, 2020). She reported what most U.S. media ignored or marginalized, how Chinese university researchers believe virus may originate from government laboratory (February 16, 2020):
While most early reports indicated a market close to Wuhan was the source of the original COVID-19 infections, there was skepticism about this theory.
Sen. Tom Cotton suggested that Chinese officials misled the public on the origins of the novel coronavirus that has killed at least 362 people and infected more than 17,400 others, saying it may have originated in a “superlaboratory.” ….
If the market was not the source of the pathogen, what was? Researchers at the Beijing-sponsored South China University of Technology now conclude that the coronavirus probably originated from a laboratory in Wuhan….
The full report is here, including this conclusion:
In summary, somebody was entangled with the evolution of 2019-nCoV coronavirus. In addition to origins of natural recombination and intermediate host, the killer coronavirus probably originated from a laboratory in Wuhan. Safety level may need to be reinforced in high risk biohazardous laboratories. Regulations may be taken to relocate these laboratories far away from city center and other densely populated places.
If you read Legal Insurrection, you would have known about this Chinese university study. (Yes, we archived it, so the link to the report still works.) Leslie later reported how China Destroyed Evidence of Wuhan Coronavirus in December (March 20, 2020). Something was not right when it came to the origin. The Chinese government was covering up, and liberal media and activists in the West were complicit.
So this is all a long wind-up to a Wall Street Journal report today that will not surprise Legal Insurrection readers, Lab Leak Most Likely Origin of Covid-19 Pandemic, Energy Department Now Says:
The U.S. Energy Department has concluded that the Covid pandemic most likely arose from a laboratory leak, according to a classified intelligence report recently provided to the White House and key members of Congress.
The shift by the Energy Department, which previously was undecided on how the virus emerged, is noted in an update to a 2021 document by Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines’s office.
The new report highlights how different parts of the intelligence community have arrived at disparate judgments about the pandemic’s origin. The Energy Department now joins the Federal Bureau of Investigation in saying the virus likely spread via a mishap at a Chinese laboratory. Four other agencies, along with a national intelligence panel, still judge that it was likely the result of a natural transmission, and two are undecided.
The Energy Department’s conclusion is the result of new intelligence and is significant because the agency has considerable scientific expertise and oversees a network of U.S. national laboratories, some of which conduct advanced biological research….
The Energy Department made its judgment with “low confidence,” according to people who have read the classified report.
The FBI previously came to the conclusion that the pandemic was likely the result of a lab leak in 2021 with “moderate confidence” and still holds to this view.
The evidence is not conclusive because there has been a three-year cover-up by the Chinese government. The proof to a reasonable degree of certainly may never be found because it’s been destroyed. Here is where U.S. agencies stand on the issue.
The current breakdown of the 8 IC agencies on #OriginOfCovid:
4 – natural origin, low confidence
2 – don't know (CIA + another agency)
1 – lab origin, low confidence (DoE)
1 – lab origin, moderate confidence (FBI)
Glad to hear some agencies are still investigating.
— Alina Chan (@Ayjchan) February 26, 2023
Nate Silver is shocked, shocked, that there was a cover up, though he blames the scientists not the media.
Welp. The behavior of a certain cadre of scientists who used every trick in the book to suppress discussion of this issue is something I'll never forget. A huge disservice to science and public health. They should be profoundly embarrassed.https://t.co/nZqzjrvo8F
— Nate Silver (@NateSilver538) February 26, 2023
The depth of media connivance was on par with other media malfeasance, and many scientists were not much better:
— Erick Erickson (@EWErickson) February 26, 2023
Social media platforms then censored the lab leak theory based on official opinion, allowing the fake zoonotic theory (eg pangolins) to spread. In other words, social media censorship caused disinformation by suppressing legitimate inquiry and viewpoints.
— David Sacks (@DavidSacks) January 16, 2022
It’s clear that the scientists who claimed in Lancet, on Feb 19, 2020, “We stand together to strongly condemn conspiracy theories suggesting that COVID-19 does not have a natural origin,” were misrepresenting their unfounded opinion as a scientific fact. pic.twitter.com/vm0KcYpiTW
— Michael Shellenberger (@ShellenbergerMD) February 26, 2023
— Ashley Rindsberg (@AshleyRindsberg) February 26, 2023
Time to once again shame everyone who lied and tried to shut this discussion down!
— Comfortably Smug (@ComfortablySmug) February 26, 2023
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