The World Health Organization now says the virus ‘most likely came from animals.’ But everybody knows that the WHO is heavily influenced by China, and China is not a reliable source. Everybody, that is, except large and important sections of the US media.
Before the WHO’s latest report, Feng Zijian, the deputy director of China’s Center for Disease Control and Prevention, claimed the virus spread after a bat infected a human — or the virus initially went from bat to another animal or mammal species, which then jumped to humans or that shipments of frozen food from Europe or even the United States spread the virus throughout the province of Wuhan. It’s always the West’s fault, the way Beijing tells it.
The other possibility is the one that China, their allies in the WHO and even in the American media are quickest to denounce — that the virus leaked from the Wuhan Institute of Virology. This is called a conspiracy theory. But the former CDC director, Robert Redfield told 60 Minutes this weekend that the scenario of a lab leak is the one he believes. Members of the intelligence community including US senators and the former secretary of state have stated the same. CBS News and the New York Times were quick to denounce Redfield this weekend. He worked for the Trump administration and therefore his expertise is not credible.
China itself, capitalizing on the murders in Atlanta and the media narratives that have sprung up from it, has gone as far as to even suggest the lab leak theory is racist. Indeed, any acknowledgement of China’s role in kickstarting this global pandemic is hateful and therefore problematic — or is it problematic and therefore hateful?
But State Department cables released last year warned of safety issues at the Wuhan Institute, based on reports of lax safety guidelines. This is not about racism. But it’s strange that the American media and China seem so eager to work together to say that it is.
Earlier this year, as also reported on 60 Minutes, a team of WHO investigators were allowed into China to investigate the origins of the virus but were under strict monitoring by the Chinese government, they were not allowed into the institute (and were only allowed to interview staff who were guaranteed to have been coached prior).
The WHO allowed China to dictate the terms of the investigation; who was allowed in, and what the final finding would state. It was China who ruled out a lab accident and no one else, and anyone repeating this talking point in the media or anyone at the WHO who fails to note that fact is, quite simply, doing China’s bidding.
According to 60 Minutes, China had veto power over which experts were allowed into Wuhan, which the WHO agreed to. The WHO even ceded investigative authority over to the Chinese government and then simply just shared the findings of China’s own report. Putting it bluntly, the WHO report stinks. It was not a real fact-finding investigation and the results should be taken with the utmost skepticism by the public and by the American media.
One of the first things Joe Biden did as President was rejoin the WHO, which was greeted with much media cheering. As part of the organization, America could have much more influence than it did under Trump’s ‘isolationist’ approach. But the latest WHO ‘findings’ only underscore the point that it cannot present the evidence fairly. The media’s role is more mysterious. Why are so many pundits so quick to debunk the opinions of intelligence agencies and health officials? Is it just because such talk sounds a bit Trumpy? There is a large amount of circumstantial evidence regarding the lab theory and to dismiss it out of hand seems a lot like confirmation bias.
At worst, it suggests that media outlets with millions invested into the Chinese media market do not want to jeopardize their bottom lines with even the mere suggestion that China’s COVID conclusions simply do not add up. Beijing has not acted like a government that is interested in transparency.
If it were, why would it have blocked a proper independent investigation? That’s something Candidate Biden insisted he would demand, but President Biden seems to have forgotten all about. It must be that dementia we keep hearing about.