In the midst of the pandemic in April 2020, President Donald Trump said his administration had evidence that COVID-19 came from a lab at the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
“I can’t tell you that," he said. "I’m not allowed to tell you that."
Afterward, Trump would repeatedly call COVID-19 the "China virus," and was constantly accused by the media of being both racist and wrong. They also said he was pushing a conspiracy theory.
But now... here is what The New York Times, a news source not exactly known for being rightwing, reported on Sunday: “New intelligence has prompted the Energy Department to conclude that an accidental laboratory leak in China most likely caused the coronavirus pandemic, though U.S. spy agencies remain divided over the origins of the virus, American officials said on Sunday.”
“The conclusion was a change from the department’s earlier position that it was undecided on how the virus emerged,” the report continued.
Trump wasn't the only Republican who got it right about COVID-19 likely originating in China.
When Sen. Tom Cotton asked questions about the virus possibly being from an accidental lab leak in Wuhan, the Washington Post ran the headline, "Tom Cotton keeps repeating a coronavirus fringe theory that scientists have disputed."
That "fringe theory" now appears to be true.
Sen. Rand Paul participated in multiple hearings where he questioned Anthony Fauci, in which the senator asked the top White House doctor what knowledge he might have about U.S.-funded gain-of-function research at the Wuhan lab and how that work might have leaked, causing the pandemic.
At first, Fauci denied any lab leak. Then, later, he speculated it might have been possible.
After the most recent news, today he says we should all have an "open mind."
In May 2021, Reps. Steve Scalise and James Comer called for hearings with expert witnesses to examine the origins of the coronavirus. They said in a statement, "The left-wing media called it a ‘fringe conspiracy theory,’ Big Tech censored it, activists in white lab coats dismissed it and Democrats ignored it, but there is growing evidence Communist China started the pandemic, covered it up, and is responsible for the deaths of more than 600,000 Americans and millions more worldwide.”
These are just a few of the Republicans who dared to examine the evidence and concluded that there was a significant likelihood that COVID-19 originated in a particular Chinese lab and a leak caused the pandemic.
Today, the Department of Energy under the Biden administration seems to agree with them. No more "fringe" apparently.
Maybe in the future when questions are posed about such literal life and death issues, we'll spend more time listening to the people who got this right as opposed to a pompous establishment who spent years insisting these Republicans were wrong.