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Cotton: Circumstantial Evidence ‘Points Toward the Wuhan Labs’

Sen. Tom Cotton talks to reporters at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., January 8, 2020. (Tom Brenner/Reuters)

Arkansas senator Tom Cotton, who was wrongly pilloried by much of the media for questioning whether the coronavirus might have escaped from a lab in Wuhan, has an op-ed on the matter in the Wall Street Journal:

Beijing has claimed that the virus originated in a Wuhan “wet market,” where wild animals were sold. But evidence to counter this theory emerged in January. Chinese researchers reported in the Lancet Jan. 24 that the first known cases had no contact with the market, and Chinese state media acknowledged the finding. There’s no evidence the market sold bats or pangolins, the animals from which the virus is thought to have jumped to humans. And the bat species that carries it isn’t found within 100 miles of Wuhan.

Wuhan has two labs where we know bats and humans interacted. One is the Institute of Virology, eight miles from the wet market; the other is the Wuhan Center for Disease Control and Prevention, barely 300 yards from the market.

Jim Geraghty has been hot on the trail leading back to the Wuhan labs, and Josh Rogin recently reported in the Washington Post that State Department cables from 2018 warned of safety issues at the labs where coronaviruses were being studied.  

“This evidence is circumstantial, to be sure, but it all points toward the Wuhan labs,” Cotton concludes in his Journal op-ed. “Thanks to the Chinese coverup, we may never have direct, conclusive evidence — intelligence rarely works that way — but Americans justifiably can use common sense to follow the inherent logic of events to their likely conclusion.”

Even if the virus jumped directly from an animal to a human — not in a lab accident — China’s cover-up would still resemble a Chernobyl-like catastrophe on a global scale. The Communist regime suppressed information the disease was spreading among humans, refused to share samples of the virus so the United States could develop a test, and did not lock down Wuhan until January 23. One study from the University of Southampton found that COVID-19 cases could have been reduced by 95 percent if the Chinese government had intervened three weeks earlier.

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