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Commentary

PolitiFact Deletes Fact Check on Wuhan Lab Leak Theory

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The thing about “experts” in any field, and the fact-checkers who validate (or invalidate) their conclusions, is that being human, they each have their own (sometimes hidden) opinions. biases and sets of unique life circumstances which combine to shape their personal agendas. Before we can consider and ultimately accept their “facts,” we need to remember that, above all else, they are human beings, heavily influenced and motivated by their agendas.

Until now, experts, including the ubiquitous Dr. Anthony Fauci, President Joe Biden’s chief medical advisor and the Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, or NIAID, and fact-checkers have told us the coronavirus had zoonotic origins, meaning that it jumped from an animal to a human, possibly at the Wuhan, China, wet market.

Those who thought it was possible the virus may have escaped from the nearby Wuhan Lab of Virology 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.

In September, Fox News’ Tucker Carlson invited Dr. Li-Meng Yan, a virologist and former postdoctoral fellow at the University of Hong Kong, onto his show. She said, “This virus, COVID-19 SARS-CoV-2 virus, actually is not from nature. It is a man-made virus created in the lab.”

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Carlson asked Yan to “give us, for a non-scientific audience, a summary of why you believe this virus came from a lab in Wuhan.”

“I can present solid scientific evidence to our audience that this virus, COVID-19 SARS-CoV-2 virus, actually is not from nature,” Yan replied. “It is a man-made virus created in the lab.”

She said that, previously, the bat coronavirus could not affect people, but after the [lab] modifications, it became a very harmful virus.

Carlson says, “You’re saying that the Chinese government manufactured this virus if I’m hearing you correctly?”

“Yes, exactly …,” Yan says.

She explained how the evidence that it was man-made could be found in the genome itself and that “big suppression” was coming from the Chinese Communist Party.

The show went viral. The next day, PolitiFact published a fact-check with the title, “Tucker Carlson guest airs debunked conspiracy theory that COVID-19 was created in a lab.”

PolitiFact’s Daniel Funke wrote that “the claim is inaccurate and ridiculous. We rate it Pants on Fire!”

“The genetic structure of the novel coronavirus, which has been shared by thousands of scientists worldwide, rules out the possibility that it was manipulated in a lab,” Funke told readers. “Public health authorities have repeatedly said the virus was not created in a lab. Scientists believe the coronavirus originated in bats before jumping to humans. Experts have publicly rebuked Yan’s paper, and it’s unclear whether it was peer reviewed.”

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Funke makes a heroic effort to disprove Yan’s claims, citing an endless number of experts, researchers and health officials. He points out that Facebook and Instagram had both flagged the video as “false information.”

“But how do we know Yan’s claims about the coronavirus are wrong — and where do they come from? Let’s review the facts,” asks Funke rhetorically.

His answer: Because “scientists worldwide have publicly shared the genetic makeup of the coronavirus thousands of times. If the virus had been altered, there would be evidence in its genome data.”

Do you believe that COVID-19 originated in the Wuhan Lab of Virology?

“But there isn’t. In March, several microbiology, infectious disease and evolutionary biology experts wrote in Nature — a respected scientific journal — that the genetic makeup of the coronavirus does not indicate it was altered.”

“Instead, scientists have two plausible explanations for the origin of the virus: natural selection in an animal host, or natural selection in humans after the virus jumped from animals.”

Funke never quite explains how “the genetic structure of the novel coronavirus rules out laboratory manipulation.” Just that it does.

His entire argument boils down to: Because experts say so. And they’ve said so repeatedly.

Very recently, an “awakening” if you will, seems to have begun among people who, for over a year, have refused to even consider the possibility that the coronavirus may have escaped from the Wuhan lab. “Experts” are quietly reversing their earlier positions.

Two weeks ago, pushed hard by Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky during a Senate hearing, even Dr. Fauci opened the door to the lab leak theory.

Are these people trying to cover themselves ahead of a future revelation? Maybe.

Last week, PolitiFact retracted their September fact check about Yan’s remarks on Tucker Carlson’s show. An editor’s note read: “When this fact-check was first published in September 2020, PolitiFact’s sources included researchers who asserted the SARS-CoV-2 virus could not have been manipulated. That assertion is now more widely disputed. For that reason, we are removing this fact-check from our database pending a more thorough review. Currently, we consider the claim to be unsupported by evidence and in dispute. The original fact-check in its entirety is preserved below for transparency and archival purposes. Read our May 2021 report for more on the origins of the virus that causes COVID-19.”

Now, it’s looking more likely than ever that the virus originated in the lab.

Last week, Republican members of the House Intelligence Committee released a report to Fox News, which said there is growing “circumstantial evidence” that the virus came from a lab.

An article published by The Wall Street Journal on Sunday reported that a State Department fact sheet, issued during the final days of the Trump administration said three researchers from the Wuhan Lab fell ill in November 2019 and were hospitalized “with symptoms consistent with both Covid-19 and common seasonal illness.”

Conservatives have been suspicious all along due to the fact that a lab that had been conducting research on the virus was located nearby and that we are dealing with China, which cannot be trusted. But experts and the media told us we were wrong and the fact-checkers went to town.

The parade of experts, researchers and renowned scientists, each with their own agendas, never offered an explanation for why the coronavirus couldn’t have come from the lab or why it couldn’t have been modified. Just that it couldn’t. And we were supposed to accept it.

“Pants on Fire?” I don’t think so.

In the video below, Fox News contributor and radio host Dan Bongino “gives the ‘fact checkers’ at @PolitiFact the verbal beatdown they deserve.”

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Elizabeth is a contract writer at The Western Journal. Her articles have appeared on many conservative websites including RedState, Newsmax, The Federalist, Bongino.com, HotAir, Australian National Review, Independent Journal Review, Instapundit, MSN and RealClearPolitics. Please follow Elizabeth on Twitter.
Elizabeth is a contract writer at The Western Journal. Her articles have appeared on many conservative websites including RedState, Newsmax, The Federalist, Bongino.com, Australian National Review, HotAir, Independent Journal Review, Instapundit, MSN and RealClearPolitics.
Please follow Elizabeth on Twitter.




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