In the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, the experts told us the virus that caused COVID-19 originated in the wet markets of Wuhan, China. Wet markets are these disgusting places where people sell all sorts of weird, exotic live animals to eat. We were told the virus probably came from a live horseshoe bat at a wet market waiting to be in someone’s bowl of soup. Seriously, some people in China eat bat soup. Google it if you don’t believe me.
Some pushed back on the wet market theory. One of the people who’s healthy skepticism drew the most attention was U.S. Sen. Tom Cotten. He wondered publicly if the Wuhan National Biosafety Laboratory could have been where the virus got out and started the COVD-19 pandemic, not a wet market. This is what The Washington Post reported about it:
Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) repeated a fringe theory suggesting that the ongoing spread of a coronavirus is connected to research in the disease-ravaged epicenter of Wuhan, China.
Cotton referenced a laboratory in the city, the Wuhan National Biosafety Laboratory, in an interview on Fox News’s “Sunday Morning Futures.” He said the lab was near a market some scientists initially thought was a starting point for the virus’s spread.
“We don’t know where it originated, and we have to get to the bottom of that,” Cotton said. “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.”
The Washington Post accused Sen. Tom Cotton of repeating a “fringe theory” and engaging in conspiracy theories.
The same Washington Post article included comments made by Cui Tiankai, Chinese Ambassador to the United States on CBS’s Face the Nation in early February 2020:
“It’s true that a lot is still unknown,” Cui said when CBS host Margaret Brennan asked about Cotton’s claims. “But it’s very harmful, it’s very dangerous, to stir up suspicion, rumors and spread them among the people. For one thing, this will create panic. Another thing is that it will fan up racial discrimination, xenophobia, all these things that will really harm our joint efforts to combat the virus.”
I’m surprised Brennan allowed Cui to get away with that comment. Not only did he vilify Sen. Cotten for expressing healthy skepticism, he also took aim at the concept of a free press. He was on a national news show claiming it was armful and dangerous to stir up suspicion and spread rumors among the people. I would expect a communist to say something like that. Communists hate freedom of speech and the free press as much as they hate capitalism and personal hygiene.
Fast forward to a few days ago. This is from a Wall Street Journal published on May 23, 2021:
Three researchers from China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology became sick enough in November 2019 that they sought hospital care, according to a previously undisclosed U.S. intelligence report that could add weight to growing calls for a fuller probe of whether the Covid-19 virus may have escaped from the laboratory.
Cui Tiankai is a liar. When he made the statement accusing Sen. Cotten of engaging in “racial discrimination and xenophobia,” he knew scientists from that lab contracted what appears to be COVID-19 way back in November 2019. The Chinese government conspired to keep this fact a secret.
Tom Cotton was right to question the source of COVID-19. I think a lot of people owe him an apology. I’m not a Republican, nor am I from Arkansas, but I like Tom Cotton. I like the cut of his jib.