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We Were Never Afraid to Say the Virus Could Have Come from the Wuhan Lab

Outside the Wuhan Institute of Virology in Wuhan, China, February 3, 2021 (Thomas Peter/Reuters)
Help us continue to provide fearless, fact-based coverage — independent of the overweening conventional ‘wisdom.’

As you might have heard, it’s now okay to entertain the theory that the COVID-19 virus may have escaped from the Wuhan lab.

This is baffling to us here at NR, since we have been writing about the theory, at length and in detail, since April.

No, not April as in two months ago — April as in more than a year ago, when what would be the long taboo against the lab theory was already being enforced.

Go ahead and take a moment and look at this extensive April 3, 2020, post from Jim Geraghty on why we had to take evidence that the virus came from a lab seriously.

(Go ahead and take another moment if necessary — it’s long.)

Jim’s piece got noticed. An article in the New Republic was titled, “Why Conservatives Believe a Chinese Lab Created the Coronavirus,” with a sub-headline that sniffed, “The conspiracy theory sprung from an amateur YouTube video. Then, the National Review picked it up.”

The New Republic went on to note, “The media personality who jumped farthest down this rabbit hole was not a Fox host or a Breitbart hack, but the center-right [sic] blogger Jim Geraghty of the National Review.”

Yes, indeed — and that’s why Jim should take a bow, and why we are asking you to chip in to help in our latest fundraising drive.

The sneering, high-handed dismissal of the Wuhan lab theory is high on the list of media failures of the past several years, although, admittedly, it has lots of competition. Once again, the narrative was set by a few key outlets and opinion-makers on dubious or erroneous grounds, and then the bogus orthodoxy was enforced by cable-news hosts, Twitter mobs, and social-media companies.

Until just last week, Facebook was censoring posts supporting the lab theory, even though it was always plausible and, if anything, had gotten stronger in recent months.

Because the narrative is so all-powerful, it’s absolutely essential that conservatives push back, and not with click-bait or other tripe, but with substantive, fact-based, persuasive argument that fair-minded people can’t dismiss easily.

That’s what NR has done on the origins story for a full year, whether it was defending Tom Cotton’s initial, amazingly prescient comments on the lab, slamming the WHO for its complicity with China, pushing back against the truly absurd notion that the lab theory is racist, or calling for a U.S. investigation worthy of the name.

To give you a loose idea of how much we’ve covered this story, take a look at the (inevitably incomplete) list below of all our articles, blog posts, and podcasts.

All through this, Jim was pounding away on this story, providing the best, most up-to-date information. He told you what you needed to know and what you weren’t hearing elsewhere or what was being actively suppressed elsewhere.

I hazard to say that if you have been reading Jim over the past year and a half, you have been better-informed on the lab than if you have been reading anyone any place else.

That’s not to say that Jim is a science writer; he’s not. But he was on to this before almost any of the big-time science writers (indeed, a reporter covering COVID for the New York Times was still insisting last week that the lab theory is racist).

As I always note in these appeals, National Review doesn’t have a sugar daddy and never has, and serious opinion journalism isn’t a lucrative business.

That’s why if you value what we do and think it’s essential to have a rigorous, principled, and undaunted outlet like NR on the playing field, we ask that you contribute any amount to our drive that seeks to raise $50,000 in five days.

Literally every dollar helps, and we welcome $5 donations as well as $1,000 contributions.

We live in an age of superstition and enforced conformity, and I submit to you that on the origins debate, NR and especially Jim Geraghty have shown how to defend rationality and independent thinking against an overweening, insufferable conventional wisdom.

Please help if you can, and thanks for reading.


The Trail Leading Back to the Wuhan Labs

The Media Owe Senator Tom Cotton an Apology

All Signs Point to China

Tracing the Virus’s Origins

Don’t Trust the Chinese Government’s COVID-19 Timeline

New Study: The Human Version of SARS-CoV-2 Is Closer to the One in Bats than the One in Pangolins

An Unnerving Review of Accidents in High-Level Labs Handling Viruses

U.S. Diplomats Warned about Safety Risks in Wuhan Labs Studying Bats Two Years before Coronavirus Outbreak

We’re Still Learning About the Pandemic’s Early Days

Cotton: Circumstantial Evidence ‘Points Toward the Wuhan Labs’

NPR’s Spotty Report on the Wuhan Labs

Trump Admin. Orders Intelligence Agencies to Compile Evidence of China Coronavirus Cover Up

Nothing to See Here, Just ‘Labs in China’ Being Sloppy with ‘Biological Disposal’

‘Conspiracy Theories’ and China’s Full-Court Press in American Media

Chinese State Media Labels Pompeo ‘Evil’ in Response to Claims that Coronavirus Leaked from Wuhan Lab

Let’s Focus on China’s Origin Story Again

Beijing Has Blocked WHO from Investigating COVID Origins

The Wuhan Lab-Leak Hypothesis Goes Mainstream

The WHO Concludes the Outbreak Starting in Wuhan, China, Is Just a Big Coincidence

World Health Organization: China’s Denials of a Lab Leak Resolve the Issue for Us

The Wuhan Lab-Leak Scenario Is Still Plausible

The ‘Human Error’ Theory on COVID Origin Still Very Much Alive

WHO to Shelve Report on COVID Origins after Calls for Greater Transparency

WHO Team Member: Those Sickened Bat-Virus Researchers Had Nothing to Do With the COVID Outbreak

WHO Gave China Veto Power over American Scientists Joining COVID-Origin Investigation

Beware China’s ‘Internal’ Investigation into COVID’s Origins

Former CDC Director Redfield Says He Believes Coronavirus Originated Inside a Wuhan Lab

Dr. Robert Redfield Takes the Right Approach

Lone American on WHO COVID Team Says They Didn’t Investigate Chinese Cover-Up: ‘That Wasn’t Our Task’

WHO Report Dismisses COVID Lab-Leak Hypothesis

WHO Head Calls for Further Probe of COVID Lab-Leak Theory

We Need a Serious Investigation into the Origins of COVID-19

State Department Dodges COVID Origins Question

HHS Board Never Approved Wuhan Institute of Virology Research Grant

WHO: After an Extensive Investigation . . . We Know Nothing

Hawley, Braun Propose Bill Requiring Biden to Declassify Wuhan Lab Leak Intelligence

The Biden Admin Discounts Lab-Leak Theory amid New WHO Push

Wade on the Lab-Leak Theory of COVID

The Wuhan-Lab Theory Is Not Far-Fetched. Just Look at China’s Reckless Rocket Program

Rand Paul Urges Fauci to Abandon Gain-of-Function Research, Citing Possible COVID Lab Leak

Fauci Asked about U.S. Funding Wuhan Lab

Democrats’ Glaring Absence from Wuhan Lab-Leak Investigations

Science Letter Breaks ‘Chokehold’ on COVID-Origin Narrative, Says Lab-Leak Theory ‘Viable’

How the Science Letter on COVID Lab-Leak Theory Disarms Racism Accusations

Respected Scientists Want Investigation of ‘Viable’ Wuhan Lab-Leak Theory

The Taboo on the COVID Lab-Leak Theory Lifts

The Media Eat Crow on COVID Lab-Leak Theory

Fauci Says He’s ‘Not Convinced’ COVID-19 Developed Naturally, Calls for Further Investigation

What if the Pandemic Was Man-Made?

The Circumstantial Evidence at Wuhan Lab Keeps Growing

Researchers at Wuhan Institute of Virology Hospitalized in November 2019: Report

As Lab-Leak Evidence Mounts, Psaki Says White House Is ‘Hopeful’ WHO Will Launch Second COVID Probe

Beware of Bogus Scientific Consensus

Welcome to the Party, Dr. Fauci

The Lab-Theory Cover-Up: When Truth Serves Prejudice

‘The Suddenly Popular Lab-Leak Theory’

Biden Orders Intel Officials to Report on COVID Origin Within 90 Days

How Big Tech Silenced the Earliest Lab-Leak Theory Proponents

Even Xavier Becerra Jumps on the Lab-Leak Bandwagon

HHS Head Calls for ‘Transparent, Science-Based’ Probe into Origins of COVID

New York Times COVID Reporter Calls Discussion of Lab-Leak Theory ‘Racist’

Biden Administration Shut Down Trump-Era Investigation into COVID Lab-Leak Origin

‘The Media’s Lab Leak Fiasco’

Pompeo Slams Biden’s Shut-Down of Lab-Leak Probe: ‘They Haven’t Lifted a Finger’

Facebook Lifts Ban on Wuhan Lab Leak Posts amid Renewed Debate over Theory

The Considerable, If Circumstantial, Evidence of a Wuhan Lab Leak

We Need Sworn Public Testimony on COVID’s Origins

Why We Might Want Diplomats Investigating the Origin of COVID-19

Yeah, It Matters

Re: Lab Leak and Censorship 

Biden COVID Adviser Says Search for Virus Origins Is Not ‘the Real Issue’

The Fall of Saint Anthony Fauci

The Case of the Missing COVID Bat

Knowing the Virus’ Origin Would Have Changed a Lot, Almost Immediately

Fauci Argued Benefits of Gain-of-Function Research Outweighed Pandemic Risk in 2012 Paper


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