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March 7, 2023

Vindication: Cotton Was Right All Along on COVID-19

The Arkansas senator was mocked and vilified by the Left for having suggested the possibility of a lab leak.

More than three years ago, on Sunday, February 16, 2020, Fox News’s Maria Bartiromo was interviewing Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton on the recent emergence of a coronavirus. Little did we know it, but that virus would soon sweep across the United States and around the world, leaving nearly seven million dead in its wake.

It’s worth remembering and reflecting on what Senator Cotton said, even at that early stage:

We also know that just a few miles away from that food market is China’s only biosafety level-4 super laboratory that researches human infectious diseases. Now, we don’t have evidence that this disease originated there, but because of China’s duplicity and dishonesty from the beginning, we need to at least ask the question to see what the evidence says, and China right now is not giving any evidence on that question at all.

Even earlier, on January 22 of that year, the day President Donald Trump first made public mention of the COVID-19 virus, Cotton warned the administration that the Communist Chinese were engaged in a cover-up of the outbreak. “Once again,” he said, “a deadly virus is emanating from China. Hundreds have fallen ill in Asia and at least one confirmed case has reached the United States. It’s imperative that the CCP be fully transparent and share information so we can stop this disease from spreading. … In the past, the CCP has lied, falsified statistics, and suppressed information about outbreaks in order to cover for its own incompetence.”

Additionally, as our Mark Alexander also detailed in his comprehensive COVID-19 timeline, “Cotton advised the Trump administration that he believed all travel should be stopped between the U.S. and China.”

Today, we can look back and marvel about just how right Cotton was — and, indeed, just how measured and commonsensical his analysis was. But at the time, he was mocked, sneered at, and vilified by the Left.

Mediaite’s Isaac Schorr has gathered up some of those receipts. He writes: “On February 17, 2020, the day after Cotton’s interview on Fox, both [The New York Times and the Washington Post] ran a variation of the same headline. ‘Senator Tom Cotton Repeats Fringe Theory of Coronavirus Origins,’ lamented the Times, before accusing Cotton of contributing to an ‘infodemic.’ ‘Tom Cotton keeps repeating a coronavirus conspiracy theory that was already debunked,’ explained the Post, which later issued a correction that still characterized the theory as ‘fringe.’”

Remember this abject failure every time someone on the Left cites the Times or the Post as an authoritative source. Here’s a serving suggestion: Wait, you want me to believe it’s so because the Times says it’s so? HAHAHA.

Here’s more: Responding to a tweet noting that Cotton had reiterated his lab-leak suggestion, author and Atlantic staff writer Anne Applebaum exclaimed: “Wow. Just like the Soviet propagandists who tried to convince the world that the CIA invented AIDS.”

Yeah, Anne … just like that.

And anyone doubting the bias of the mainstream media need only consider the actions of ex-CNN boss Jeff Zucker, who ordered staff at “The Most Trusted Name in News” not to report on the Wuhan lab-leak theory, telling them it was a “Trump talking point.”

Skipping ahead to June 2021, lefty Jon Stewart took to Stephen Colbert’s unfunny late-night show and acknowledged that Cotton had been right all along, albeit without mentioning the senator by name:

“Do you mean,” asked an incredulous Colbert, “perhaps there’s a chance that this was created in a lab?”

“A chance?” Stewart replied. “Oh my God, there’s a novel respiratory coronavirus overtaking Wuhan, China. What do we do? Oh, you know who we could ask? The Wuhan novel respiratory coronavirus lab. The disease is the same name as the lab.”

Colbert seemed skeptical, so Stewart frantically continued: “What about this, what about this, listen to this: There’s been an outbreak of chocolatey goodness near Hershey, Pennsylvania. What do you think happened? I don’t know, maybe a steam shovel mated with a cocoa bean. Or, it’s the f***ing chocolate factory!”

Sixteen months. It was a long, hard slog, but Cotton seemed to have finally been vindicated. Not that Stewart is some sort of renowned immunologist, but his was the first voice among the mainstream punditry to admit what had been so painfully obvious to the rest of us.

Yet even Stewart was denounced by the lefties of the Twitterverse. To them, the lab-leak theory was too closely tied to Donald Trump to give it any credence. And so they continued to deny the undeniable, continued to believe the Communist Chinese, and continued to believe their bought-and-paid-for puppets at the World Health Organization and within our own National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and our larger National Institutes of Health.

Former NIAID Director Anthony Fauci and former NIH Director Frances Collins come immediately and ignominiously to mind.

And now we learn that House Republicans have uncovered emails suggesting that Fauci “prompted” the drafting of a “proximal origin” publication meant to “disprove” the COVID-19 lab-leak theory. As a result, and compliments of some hefty grants, key virologist reversed course claiming the lab leak was implausible.

If we didn’t know better, we’d swear the Bad Doctor was on the take.

The preponderance of evidence has thus become overwhelming. Johns Hopkins surgeon and public policy researcher Marty Makary’s recent congressional testimony, for example, was both definitive and devastating to the Left’s wet-market dead-enders:

The reason this is even an issue is that it’s embarrassing we funded the lab. If we had not funded the lab, 100 percent of Americans would say ‘This is obvious, this is a no-brainer.’ … The [Wuhan] doctors initially were arrested and forced to sign non-disclosure gag documents. The lab reports have been destroyed; they have not been turned over. The sequences reported from the lab to the NIH database were deleted by a request from Chinese scientists. … And two leading virologists, maybe the two top virologists in the United States … told Dr. Fauci on his emergency call in January of 2020, when he was scrambling soon after learning the NIH was funding the lab, they both said that it was likely from the lab. Both scientists changed their tunes days later in the media, and then both scientists received $9 million subsequent in funding from the NIH. It’s a no-brainer that it came from the lab.


Additionally, Makary published a compelling list of 10 debunked Covid myths this week.

Lefty Nate Silver has seen and heard enough. “Welp,” he tweeted on February 26. “The behavior of a certain cadre of scientists who used every trick in the book to suppress discussion of this issue is something I’ll never forget. A huge disservice to science and public health. They should be profoundly embarrassed.”

Yes, they should.

These days, as our Mark Alexander recently noted, even FBI Director Chris Wray is acknowledging the obvious:

So, here you’re talking about a potential leak from a Chinese government-controlled lab that killed millions of Americans, and that’s precisely what that capability was designed for. I should add that, that our work related to this continues. And there are not a whole lot of details I can share that aren’t — aren’t classified. … The Chinese government … has been doing its best to try to thwart and obfuscate the work here, the work that we’re doing, the work that our U.S. government and close foreign partners are doing.“

Back to Tom Cotton, who’s the hero in all this. "Those who lent credence to the theory and were subjected to the dominant culture’s bottomless capacity for condescension as a result will be tempted to take a victory lap,” writes Noah Rothman at National Review. “And, you know what? They should!”

Go right ahead, senator. You’ve earned it.

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