The media's startling incuriosity about COVID-19's origin
Category: News & PoliticsVia: gregtx • one month ago • 3 comments
Lately, it feels as if the COVID-19 pandemic happened to somebody else — that we were just spectators who watched it all unfold only to forget what we saw. And yet the devastation of pandemic policies remains with us. But the anger and frustration the public once expressed toward the pandemic and its accompanying restrictions seem to have vanished.
Even the media seem to have finally moved on. No longer do liberal commentators wax poetic about how many Sept. 11s the pandemic had equaled in terms of the death count. That comparison, of course, was always facile, but at least it signaled a desire to get to the bottom of things and hold those responsible to account.
The problem is our media were never really interested in accountability. They refused to entertain the possibility that COVID-19 might have leaked from a Wuhan lab since any suggestion of that nature evinced anti-Asian racism, and instead channeled their frustration toward a secondary target. The real culprit, as one New York Times opinion piece breathlessly intoned, was "decades of global environmental heedlessness" along with underfunded science, for which former President Donald Trump's knuckle-dragging mob could doubtless be thanked. It was with Trump & Co. in mind that our fearless liberal news hosts seethingly recited the updated death toll each night.
But following an article in the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, published in May of 2021, that cast doubt over the natural origin theory and raised the possibility that the virus had escaped from the Wuhan Institute of Virology, the media's palpable anger began to fade into something like quiet resignation. The growing possibility that COVID-19 was itself the fruit of scientific research in Chinese biolabs, which involved splicing together COVID strains in order to make them more infectious in humans (i.e., "gain of function" research), left the media suddenly uninterested in the blame game. And they've been allergic to the topic of COVID's origins ever since.
Consider the strangeness of the media's incuriosity regarding COVID's origins. If COVID really were the equivalent of a thousand Sept. 11s, shouldn't we at least attempt to understand what happened in order to prevent it from ever happening again?
In October, Sen. Richard Burr 's (R-NC) office released an interim report from an as-yet-released investigation that claimed the likely origin of the pandemic was a lab leak at the WIV. Predictably, the media remained silent in response. After all, outlets like the New York Times had skin in the game. After chastising the lab-leak hypothesis for many months, it wasn't in their interest to report anything to the contrary. In this era of the legacy media, only preferred outcomes make headlines.
However, when the premier investigative newsroom in the liberal sphere, ProPublica, teamed up with glossy and left-leaning Vanity Fair last month to examine the veracity of the Burr report, they not only affirmed its conclusions but bolstered it with additional context. The stunning report illuminated the sketchy state of Chinese bioresearch, in which labs like the WIV are under enormous pressure to produce breakthrough research for the glory of the Chinese Communist Party while simultaneously battling mounting safety issues. Most crucially, the ProPublica/Vanity Fair report verified the most startling aspect of the Burr report: the occurrence of a serious biocontainment incident at the WIV just days before the virus began to spread throughout the region.
Critics of the Burr report panned its overreliance on a single linguist to interpret the "relentlessly cheerful" party-speak in correspondence between the WIV and CCP officials following the incident. But the ProPublica/Vanity Fair report confirmed the Burr report's interpretation with three separate experts of their own. The biocontainment incident was serious enough that President Xi Jinping, the most powerful Chinese leader since Mao Zedong, personally intervened. This renders the occurrence of a serious lab leak at the exact moment of the COVID outbreak a near certainty.
The additional details provided by the ProPublica/Vanity Fair report suggest a disaster that resembles Chernobyl more than 9/11, in which an inefficient and corrupt communist bureaucracy unleashed a pandemic that reached every corner of the earth. As such, the CCP bears significant responsibility for the COVID pandemic. At the very least, it must begin to cooperate with international investigations into the incident.
However, the American news media remains startlingly incurious about the origins of a pandemic that killed 20 million people globally. The release of the ProPublica/Vanity Fair report barely made a dent in the daily news cycle upon which it was released. Rather than leap over one another's shoulders in pursuit of a Pulitzer by covering the story of the century and holding wrongdoers to account, they remain conspicuously silent.
They are hoping that the public has ceased to care in order that they might let inconvenient perpetrators off the hook. I fear that they may be correct.