Readers on the “Lab Leak Theory” #3

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From TPM Reader JS

I have been sort of paying attention to this from the beginning. I think it’s important to separate the legitimate scientific question of how Covid emerged from the discourse of the “lab leak hypothesis.” I believe that the latter is some kind of shibboleth for people who want to feel vindicated that something they didn’t agree with from someone official about Covid, whether it was masks or the vaccine—they want have this sort of liquid position of not actually believing it but thinking that countervailing opinions aren’t being given enough oxygen. Maybe they were even ok with the vaccine but are worried that the decisions were too political? It’s weird.

I suppose some bad editorial decisions might have been made early on. I remember the first months and weeks of Covid as a highly uncertain time, with things feeling weirder than anytime since maybe 9/11. But you have to be either willfully or conveniently ignorant to think this was the first time that kind of thing happened. I feel sort of like a broken record about this, but the NYT, who published all of the sleeze from the NY FBI office before the 2016 election that hurt Hillary also happened to spike a story about illegal wiretapping by Bush and held it until the December after the 2004 election. So maybe it was a mistake and maybe it was bad, but so what? What should we do? 

That’s what makes the whole thing so weird to me. It doesn’t seem to imply any action for the people who love to talk about it. 

Also, I know that it was never a dead topic in the military or the US government more broadly. Even in the news, there were reports we were collecting intelligence about it, but nothing more urgent than a low probability event, which is what it always has been. But somehow the non-suppression of this is some kind of new watchword, for, in my opinion, people who are residually angry about something about Covid and want to like show that they aren’t sheep. (All the cool people are “different.”)

Even this latest allegation that it was designed as a weapon. Let’s say that’s true. What should we do? Are these people saying we should nuke China? No, there’s no policy remedy or anything like that. It’s just to show that things are bad or the government is corrupt or whatever. It’s so classically the paranoid style cliche that I feel silly mentioning the it, but that’s what it is.

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