Tom Cotton on Coronavirus Origins: Lab-Leak Hypothesis Was ‘Always Reasonable’ but Media Denounced as Conspiracy

Sen. Tom Cotton, R-AR attends a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on pending judicial nominations on Capitol Hill in Washington,DC on April 28, 2021. (Photo by Tom Williams / POOL / AFP) (Photo by TOM WILLIAMS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
TOM WILLIAMS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) doubled down Monday following resurfacing questions on the origins of the Chinese coronavirus, noting that the lab leak hypothesis was “always reasonable” but quickly denounced as a conspiracy theory by “reporters & activists in white lab coats.”

“The common-sense case for a lab leak is the same as it was in January 2020, when I first mentioned the possibility,” Cotton said Monday following a Wall Street Journal report detailing a U.S. intel report finding that three Wuhan lab workers became sick and were hospitalized, exhibiting symptoms consistent with the Chinese coronavirus in Fall 2019.

“Isn’t it strange that this once-in-a-century bat coronavirus pandemic just happened to emerge within a few miles of China’s biggest laboratory researching bat coronaviruses? Shouldn’t we at least look at that lab?” he asked before citing the WSJ story specifically, adding that evidence of a lab leak “has been building for months.”

“The lab-leak hypothesis was always reasonable, but reporters & activists in white lab coats nonetheless spent the better part of a year denouncing it as a ‘conspiracy theory.’ They were wrong,” Cotton said, demanding “truth” and “accountability” and a “full, impartial investigation into COVID-19 origins, with a special focus on the Wuhan labs.”

“The Wuhan Institute of Virology & Wuhan CDC need to open their doors & databases for a full audit of their research—especially dangerous gain-of-function research. The CCP needs to stop obstructing investigators, destroying evidence, and telling ridiculous lies,” he said, adding Americans also deserve answers from U.S. health leaders, including Dr. Anthony Fauci, “about U.S. involvement in bat-coronavirus research at the Wuhan lab.”

On Monday, the White House warned Americans from believing theories on the origins of the virus until a full investigation is completed.

“What we can’t do, and what I would caution anyone doing, is leaping ahead of an actual international process,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters during Monday’s briefing. “We don’t have enough data and information to jump to a conclusion at this point in time.”

“We have repeatedly called for the W.H.O. to support an expert-driven evaluation of the pandemic’s origins that is free from interference or politicization,” she said, failing to explain why Americans should trust the World Health Organization (W.H.O.) with that task given its initial complicity with China, which downplayed and covered up the threat.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), who signed a Big Tech measure Monday, tied the Chinese coronavirus and Big Tech censorship together during Monday’s press conference, using it as yet another example of the impact Big Tech has had on the world narrative.

“Now we have information that this very well may have emanated from the Wuhan lab, that it was a leak from the lab. But you remember when people last year were raising that as something that needed to be investigated, they were de-platformed for talking about the lab leak,” DeSantis said.

“They were censored for having said that. And now, even Fauci admits that this may be something that very well is the case. Are they now going to censor Fauci and pull him down off social media?” he asked.

Fauci has continued to reverse course and now says it is “highly likely” the Chinese coronavirus developed naturally. Earlier this month, the infectious disease specialist said he was “not convinced” the Chinese coronavirus developed naturally.

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