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The Washington Post corrects a 2020 article emerging from a lab as ‘debunked’ on COVID-19


The Washington Post logo is displayed outside its offices in Washington DC on May 1, 2009.

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  • The Washington Post has corrected a 2020 article about the theory of Covid-19 exodus from a laboratory.
  • The article explored US Senator Tom Cotton’s defense of the doctrine, which he described as “outcast”.
  • Once rejected by experts, the laboratory leak hypothesis is now regarded as a credible possibility.
  • See more stories on the Business Insider SA home page.

The Washington Post on Tuesday corrected a 2020 article that criticized Republican US Senator Tom Cotton for defending the claim that the COVID-19 virus may have escaped from a laboratory in Wuhan China.

The article described the claim as “extraverted” and a “conspiracy theory”.

  • original title The February 2020 story read: “Tom Cotton keeps repeating a coronavirus conspiracy theory that was already debunked”
  • the title was corrected To read Tuesday: “Tom Cotton keeps repeating a coronavirus fringe theory that scientists have disputed.”

In a note explaining the corrections, the editors wrote: “An earlier version of this story and its title incorrectly portrayed Sen. Tom Cotton’s (R-Ark.) comments about the origins of the coronavirus. The use of the word ‘debunked’ and the post ‘conspiracy theory’ has been dropped, as till now, there was no determination about the origin of the virus.”

The insider has contacted Cotton’s office for comment.

The improvement comes after several scientists said it was not possible to disprove the theory that the coronavirus may have leaked from the Wuhan Institute of Virology. The exact origin of the virus is not known. The genetic evidence so far suggests that it emerged in bats and spread to humans, just like many diseases. (Most scientists have rejected the notion that the virus was artificially engineered.) The unanswered question is whether the coronavirus jumped into the human population because it escaped a research laboratory or whether humans encountered it in the wild. was.

In May, the US President Joe Biden orders 90-day review Intelligence about the possible source of the virus. it came after The Wall St. Journal reports that three workers at Wuhan lab had collapsed He was hospitalized with a mysterious illness before the first cases were reported at a city market in November 2020.

In March, a group of leading scientists An open letter to the World Health Organization Demanded a new investigation into the source of the virus. In a report co-authored with Chinese scientists earlier that month, the WHO described the laboratory leak theory as “extremely unlikely” to be true.

Back in February 2020 some US Republicans, including Cotton and then US President Donald Trump, had put forward the lab leak theory as they attacked China and its response to the pandemic.

The Post’s report, corrected on Tuesday, cited a Fox News interview with Cotton in which he noted that the close to the market where the first cases were reported was “China’s only biosafety level 4 super laboratory capable of handling human infectious diseases.” researches diseases. He also defended this hypothesis in the US Congress in early February, which led to China’s ambassador criticized

In response to the Post’s article that month, Cotton explained several different possible sources for the virus.

“None of these are ‘theories’ and certainly not ‘conspiracy theories.’ They are hypotheses that should be studied in the light of the evidence,” he wrote.

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