NYT’s David Leonhardt Says Media Made a Mistake’ by Dismissing Covid Lab Leak Theory Early On – Mediaite
New York Times writer David Leonhardt said people made a “mistake” in discounting the Wuhan lab leak theory just because of who was floating it as a possibility for the origin of the coronavirus.
On Sunday, Leonhardt spoke to CNN’s Brian Stelter about the shifting, increased levels of conversation surrounding the idea that the virus escaped from the Wuhan Institute of Virology. Leonhardt emphasized that the lab leak theory is still “plausible” as an explanation, though “we don’t know the answer” and the details behind the pandemic’s origin are still murky.
From there, Leonhardt shifted gears by noting that among those who pushed the lab leak theory early on, “some of them were conservative politicians” like Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) and former President Donald Trump. He went to say it was a “mistake” that people on the left and in the media discarded it for that reason, even though Leonhardt also conceded that Cotton does traffic in misinformation.
I think people made this mistake. I think a lot of people on the political left and people in the media made this mistake and said ‘wow, if Tom Cotton is saying something, it can’t be true.’ Or they assumed that. And that’s not right. Tom Cotton does deal in misinformation about things like election fraud, he’s said some things that are just wrong. But that doesn’t mean that everything he says is wrong, and it seems like a lot of people, including a lot of in the media, leaped to dismiss the lab leak theory because of where it was coming from, and the reality is we don’t yet know how Covid started.
Leonhardt maintained the view that “people were too quick to decide” on what could be dismissed as a Covid conspiracy theory as he and Stelter discussed Facebook’s new moderation policies on lab leak theory content.