Cotton was among the voices widely decried in the press last year for suggesting the Chinese government claim of a natural origin for the coronavirus didn’t hold up to scrutiny, noting the Wuhan Institute of Virology’s experiments on coronaviruses and proximity to the outbreak.
“I just used common sense,” Egli ha detto. “The Chinese Communist Party pointed to an open-air food market as the origin of this virus but they didn’t even sell bats in that market … This virus didn’t emerge in some remote rural village or mountain next to a cave full of bats. It emerged in a city larger than New York, just down the road from labs where we know they were conducting very dangerous research into coronaviruses.”
“All the spin you just heard from reporters and journalists on other networks was just partly because it was coming from me and partly because all those networks are owned by or affiliated with big Hollywood studios who want access to the Chinese market. They are deeply in the pocket of the Chinese Communist Party.”
Negli ultimi mesi, more experts and journalists covering the virus have come around to the theory, noting the effective transmissibility of the virus between humans, reports of sick researchers at the Wuhan lab in November 2019, and the known risky experimentation at the Wuhan lab on bat coronaviruses.
It’s led to yet another embarrassment for the mainstream media, as numerous outlets have been forced to offer corrections or full-on reversals of previous stories declaring the lab-leak theory “debunked” or a fringe conspiracy theory. Many of them specifically attacked Cotton; some journalists have recently admitted the fact that Cotton and former President Donald Trump were among the supporters of the theory played into their rebukes.
Il Washington Post was one of the more egregious examples, updating a story initially headlined, “Tom Cotton keeps repeating a coronavirus conspiracy theory that was already debunked.” The Post changed the headline and wrote, “Earlier versions of this story and its headline inaccurately characterized comments by Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) regarding the origins of the coronavirus. The term ‘debunked’ and The Post’s use of ‘conspiracy theory’ have been removed because, then as now, there was no determination about the origins of the virus.”
Cotton called on President Biden to begin work with European allies this week to hold China accountable, saying it was past time to punish the country for its negligence and deceit. Among his ideas were to yank visas from Chinese Communist Party members and revoke its favorable financing terms from international financial institutions.
“There’s no end to the things we can do to make China pay for unleashing the plague and we should start right now,” Egli ha detto.