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Preparing for a Media Cover-up of the COVID-19 Origin Story

John Daniel Davidson of the Federalist is getting ready for the spin surrounding COVID-19’s origins.

The Atlantic’s David Frum appears to be first out of the gate in what will likely become a coordinated, aggressive media campaign to defend the people and institutions that got the COVID-19 origin story wrong — and absolve them of all responsibility, however complicit they might be — and instead blame it all on Trump and his supporters.

It sounds stupid, I know, but it’s true. Frum thinks Trump and his tens of millions of supporters “are not interested in weighing the evidence” of the virus’s origins, and only want “payback for the political and cultural injuries inflicted on them by the scientists.” The whole thing, for them, is just “a weapon in a culture war here at home.”

Leaving aside the deep irony that Frum, of all people, is accusing anyone of not being interested in weighing the evidence, we need to understand this opening salvo for the retcon job it is. Frum is preemptively exonerating the gatekeepers and experts who resisted, and in some cases actively opposed, any discussion or serious inquiry into the possibility that COVID -19 didn’t emerge naturally but escaped from a lab in Wuhan.

If Trump and his supporters turn out to be right, then they’re right for the wrong reasons, says Frum. As Bret Weinstein noted, this is an attempt to “fictionalize the history” of the debate about COVID’s origins and “immunize” the corrupt people and institutions that were on the wrong side of that debate. …

… The need for such a campaign has become apparent in recent days because the question of COVID’s origins isn’t going away. There are two main theories: either the virus naturally jumped from animal to humans, or it was being studied — and perhaps manipulated or enhanced — in a lab and accidentally escaped.

Mitch Kokai / Senior Political Analyst

Mitch Kokai is senior political analyst for the John Locke Foundation. He joined JLF in December 2005 as director of communications. That followed more than four years as chie...