New York Times coronavirus reporter Apoorva Mandavilli fantasized on Twitter Wednesday the world would stop discussing the plausible theory that COVID-19 escaped from a Chinese lab because it’s racist.
“Someday we will stop talking about the lab leak theory and maybe even admit its racist roots,” Mandavalli wrote in a since-deleted tweet, as if the idea COVID-19 emerged from the Chinese eating bats was much better. “But alas, that day is not yet here.”
— AmericaFest Poso (@JackPosobiec) May 26, 2021
The lab-leak theory, that COVID-19 came from the Wuhan Institutes of Virology (WIV) conducting gain-of-function research, was given life this week among legacy outlets which initially dismissed the idea as a conspiracy after the Wall Street Journal reported on U.S. intelligence of three lab workers hospitalized with COVID-like symptoms in the weeks preceding its first outbreak in the same area. Republicans and conservative media who gave credence to the idea from the beginning, including The Federalist, were smeared by the legacy press as amplifying a racist conspiracy theory in an election year.
It damages the NYT’s reputation to have a key reporter on the most important story of the year say a valid news angle shouldn’t be discussed because it has “racist roots.” Aren’t they supposed to be in the news business? https://t.co/OVaQ0ysCzz
— Josh Barro (@jbarro) May 26, 2021
Alternative theories suggest the novel Wuhan coronavirus, named for the site of its first outbreak in the Chinese city of Wuhan, came from bat-to-human transmission either in the wild or at a local wet-market. The Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) however, with a reputation for subpar safety protocols was conducting research on bat coronaviruses which could infect humans with funding from the U.S. Institutes of National Health (NIH), the umbrella organization of Dr. Anthony Fauci’s National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID).
The Chinese Communist Party (CCP), which has refused total transparency for a thorough investigation, has pushed several bizarre alternative theories including the idea it was imported through frozen food packaging or came from a Maryland research facility.
Mandavilli doubled-down on her assertion that any inquiry into COVID-19’s origins at the Wuhan lab, which killed nearly 3.5 million people globally, is racist after deleting her initial post.
“A theory can have racist roots and still gather reasonable supporters along the way,” the COVID-19 Times reporter wrote. “Doesn’t make the roots any less racist or the theory any more convincing, though.”