Fmr. NY Times Science Editor: Mainstream Media Chose Propaganda Over Research on COVID Origins
A view of the P4 lab and the Wuhan Institute of Virology is seen after a visit by the World Health Organization team in Wuhan in China's Hubei province on Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2021. (AP/Ng Han Guan)
By Jim Thomas | Monday, 24 May 2021 05:28 PM
Retired New York Times science editor Nicholas Wade lambasted the mainstream media and journalists for ignoring evidence that COVID-19 may have escaped from a Wuhan lab and for believing "sustained Chinese propaganda," instead of conducting their own research relative to the true origins of COVID-19, reported the Daily Mail.
"I think we see a sustained Chinese propaganda effort at work," Wade said when discussing why he has focused on the coronavirus origins. "But, you know, more than that, it was just the blindness, if I could put it that way, of our media, we're too polarized to see scientific issues for their own sake without putting a political gloss on them."
Wade, who served as the staff writer for the Science Times section of the New York Times from 1982 to 2012, penned a 1,100-word article examining COVID’s origins titled "The origin of COVID: Did people or nature open Pandora’s box at Wuhan?" earlier this month, prompting his discussion on the topic during the show "Life, Liberty & Levin."
He claimed the mainstream media failed to "take off its political glasses" to investigate the virus' origins, the facts of which, Wade said, are clearly being obscured by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), "but it's a sort of complicated conclusion to arrive at, he added, and I can only assume that the media was blindsided, they didn't do the work that was necessary."
Wade's remarks come as more scientists and political officials are coming forward to support the theory that the virus may have been developed in a Chinese laboratory and was covered up — after scoffing at the idea for much of the past year in part because it was pushed by former President Donald Trump.
"We don't know for sure what the origin of the virus is … we've got these two possible scenarios. But if you look at all the evidence and ask yourself, well, which scenario explains all these facts better on present evidence, it seems, to me at least, that the lab-escape hypothesis explains it a lot better," said Wade.
Among the top officials now speculating that there is at least a possibility of lab development of the virus is Dr. Anthony Fauci, who recently said he's "not convinced" the virus formed naturally.
"I am not convinced about that. I think we should continue to investigate what went on in China until we continue to find out to the best of our ability what happened," Fauci said, speaking to PolitiFact’s Katie Sanders at an event, reported the Hill.
"Certainly, the people who investigated it say it likely was the emergence from an animal reservoir that then infected individuals, but it could have been something else, and we need to find that out. So, you know, that's the reason why I said I'm perfectly in favor of any investigation that looks into the origin of the virus," he added.
The case for a lab leak was strengthened on Sunday when a previously undisclosed U.S. intelligence report revealed three researchers from China's Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) sought hospital care in November 2019 — months before China disclosed the COVID-19 outbreak, reported Reuters.
A National Security Council spokeswoman also told The Wall Street Journal that the Biden administration has "serious" questions about the earliest days of the COVID-19 pandemic, including its origins in the People's Republic of China.
Last Thursday, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki called for exploring the "root causes" of the pandemic after Republicans issued an interim report saying there was "significant circumstantial evidence" that the virus emerged from the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
"I would caution you against disproving a negative there which is never the responsible approach in our view when it comes to getting to the bottom of the root causes of a pandemic that has killed hundreds of thousands of people in the United States," Psaki said in response to a question about the GOP report.
"Our view continues to be that there needs to be an independent, transparent investigation," she added.
The investigation requires full "cooperation and data provided from the Chinese government" which has denied administration requests to fully share it, the press secretary continued, "we don't have enough info at this point to make an assessment."
Asked when Biden would call Chinese President Xi Jinping, Psaki responded that "We have made that call publicly many times and conveyed that privately. We have certainly communicated that they were not transparent from the beginning."
The U.S. joined Norway, Canada, Great Britain and other countries in March in expressing concerns about the WHO-led COVID-19 origins study, and called for further investigation, and full access to all pertinent human, animal and other data about the early stages of the outbreak.