Comedy Central’s satirical news program “The Daily Show” was once said to be the place where millenials got their news, and now its former host is making news by challenging the establishment narrative on the origin of the coronavirus pandemic.
Jon Stewart told his old sidekick Stephen Colbert on Monday’s broadcast of CBS’ “Late Show” that the pandemic was “more than likely caused by science,” mocking claims that it originated naturally, Breitbart News reported.
“I think we owe a great debt of gratitude to science. Science has, in many ways, helped ease the suffering of this pandemic, which was more than likely caused by science,” he said.
Stewart then went into his signature ironic mode, suggesting it’s obvious that the fact that Wuhan was ground zero for the pandemic has something to do with it being the home to China’s top virology lab.
“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. That’s just a little too weird, don’t you think? And then they ask those scientists, they’re like … ‘So, wait a minute, you work at the Wuhan respiratory coronavirus lab, how did this happen?’ And they’re like, ‘Uhh, a pangolin kissed a turtle?'”
He went further.
“Oh my god, there’s been an outbreak of chocolatey goodness near Hershey, Pennsylvania. What do you think happened? Oh, I don’t know maybe a steam shovel mated with a cocoa bean. Or it’s the [bleep] chocolate factory. Maybe that’s it.”
Colbert noted White House coronavirus adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci and National Institutes of Health Director Dr. Francis Collins have said the lab leak theory should be investigated.
Stewart replied: “Stop with the logic and people and things. The name of the disease is on the building.”
Colbert suggested Wuhan may have many novel coronavirses because of the bat population. However, the bats that carry the virus are native to caves in Yunnan Province, some 1,000 miles away.
Stewart piled on the irony: “It’s a local specialty. And it’s the only place to find bats. You won’t find bats anywhere else. Oh, wait, Austin, Texas has thousands of them that fly out of a cave every night, every night at dusk. Is there a coronavirus — an Austin coronavirus? No, there doesn’t seem to be an Austin coronavirus. The only coronavirus we have is in Wuhan, where they have a lab called, what’s the lab called again, Stephen?”
Colbert later asked, “And how long have you worked for Sen. Ron Johnson?”
The Wisconsin senator is among the lawmakers who have pointed to evidence of a lab leak and called for an independent investigation of the origin of the pandemic.
Stewart replied: “Let me tell you something about Ron Johnson — this is not a conspiracy.”
American neurophysiologist and radio host Dr. Kiki Sanford was among the critics of Stewarts’ remarks Monday, callling the lab-leak theory a “conspiracy,” Forbes reported.
“I saw the clip and am concerned to see Stewart promoting the conspiracy … even if it’s just for laughs,” she wrote on Twitter.
Sanford said Stewart’s “joke” is “at the expense of people who know a LOT about this kind of thing working really hard to figure out where the virus DID come from.”
“The ‘well it must be’ narrative isn’t science,” she said.
Another Twitter user called Stewart’s remarks “disappointing and tragic.”
At the outset of the pandemic, establishment politicians and media mocked anyone who suggested the novel coronavirus leaked from a Chinese lab. Now, the circumstantial evidence is mounting that the virus was manipulated in gain-of-function research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology funded in part by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases under the direction of Dr. Anthony Fauci.
In an email obtained recently through a Freedom of Information Act request, a top virologist warned Fauci, while he was publicly dismissing the lab-leak theory, that the novel coronavirus had possibly been “engineered”.
Fauci also received a “personal thank you” for backing the natural origin theory from Peter Daszak, the head of a nonprofit that used a $3.4 million government grant to fund research at the Wuhan lab that included the manipulation of coronaviruses.
Daszak, in a 2016 speech at a scientific forum on “emerging infectious diseases and the next pandemic,”, boasted his “colleagues in China” at the Wuhan lab were creating a “killer” coronavirus.
Daszak also was behind a February 2020 letter that condemned “conspiracy theories suggesting that COVID-19 does not have a natural origin.” Signed by a group of virologists and others, it became part of the media narrative after it was published in the prestitious British science journal The Lancet.
But Cambridge-educated, British science writer Nicholas Wade, who is known for a New York Times column he wrote for many years, pointed out in a lengthy analysis published last month that the scientists had no basis for their conclusion. Wade has presented the circumstantial evidence that he believes points overwhelmingly to a lab leak.
Fauci admitted at a Senate hearing last month he could not be certain that the Wuhan lab did not use a $600,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health for its gain-of-function research. The risky research manipulates a virus’ genome to make it more transmissible and lethal in an effort to get ahead of a possible outbreak.
Former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb told “Face the Nation” he was informed that Fauci briefed world leaders in the spring of 2020 on the possibility that the novel coronavirus leaked from a lab.
Two virology experts recently wrote an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal pointing to “damning” science that strongly indicates COVID-19 was man-made.
The Wall Street Journal reported earlier this month that a May 2020 study prepared by the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory found the lab-leak theory plausible and warranted further investigation. The conclusion was based on genomic analysis of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19.
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