August 3, 2021

How the COVID-19 Censors Killed the Truth

Estimates are all over the place, but it’s now beyond dispute that Soviet policies in the 1930s led to the deaths of somewhere between 7 and 12 million Ukrainians (about the equivalent to killing every person in Michigan today). It’s one of the greatest horrors in world history. The world knew little about the Ukrainian famine at the time. When independent journalists tried to get news out about the atrocity, they were accused of promoting conspiracy theories. Sound familiar? The New York Times, whose Moscow bureau led efforts to protect the Soviet Union and crush dissenting viewpoints, has since apologized for its role in suppressing news about the famine. Based on the media’s handling of COVID-19 reporting today, however, it’s clear we have forgotten any lessons once learned about the dangers of suppressing ideas and dissent on unproven matters the way the Times did to such tragic effect all those decades ago.

The oddest part about the effort to stifle debate over COVID-19’s origin is even the experts agree we still don’t know the answer. There is a prevailing theory, but nobody knows precisely where COVID-19 originated. The disease has killed nearly 2.5 million people around the world and almost 500,000 in the U.S. alone. It’s in everybody’s interest to understand exactly where it came from and how it started, but efforts at investigation have been stymied from the start. Among those eager to suppress dissent on this topic are: the Chinese government, U.S. media outlets, the Big Tech platforms and scientists with a financial or reputational stake in the outcome of any investigation.

The best analysis to date on COVID-19 origins came from Nicholson Baker in New York Magazine. Baker did such a solid job that The Washington Post and others finally began to take a second look. Baker chronicles the history and intense debate within the scientific community over laboratory coronavirus testing. In essence, scientists have been creating dangerous coronaviruses in labs for many years. Their goal was to help us predict and protect against viruses that we could encounter in the real world. Opposing scientists have argued for many years that this research was of little benefit and was way too dangerous. They said, in clear terms, that the research itself could lead to a pandemic. There are millions of dollars on the line, and millions of lives could be affected. As Baker chronicled, the scientific battles over the creation of these increasingly dangerous viruses in laboratories have been intense. In 2014, under the Obama administration, U.S. funding was paused due to the potential dangers. Funding was then restarted in 2017 under the Trump administration. Some of the funding from the U.S. government went to the Wuhan Institute of Virology, located at the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak.

The majority of scientists seem to believe that the virus started naturally, transferring from bats, through another animal, to humans in Wuhan, China. However, this is not a proven fact; it’s the predominant theory with some big holes left to fill, including that the bats in question live 900 miles to the south of Wuhan.

The problem is that those most central to investigating the origins of COVID-19 are: 1. China; 2. the World Health Organization, which is deferential to China; and 3. the scientists involved in the debate over the dangerous laboratory coronavirus experimentation over the past couple of decades. The virus started in China, so we can’t investigate without their help, but China has withheld key information and has silenced Chinese scientists who were speaking out. The WHO has not been helpful either. As for the scientists, it’s impossible to investigate without them, but their conflicts of interest have already been playing out.

Dr. Peter Daszak, the sole U.S. citizen on the WHO investigative team, is a close associate of China’s premier bat-based coronavirus researcher and was a key figure in directing American taxpayer funds to the Wuhan Institute of Virology. Daszak even organized a public relations campaign in early 2020 to paint the lab leak hypothesis as a “conspiracy” before any thorough investigation had been conducted. His spokesperson later said the goal was to protect the lab’s scientists, but ultimately the beneficiary was Beijing and its preferred narrative.

The point is not to prove that Daszak is a bad guy or that the virus leaked from lab experiments. The point is that we don’t know. If you look at the details of all the investigations to date, they reach the same conclusion: We don’t know yet. What’s more, efforts to suppress the lab leak theory are unpersuasive on their face. The fact is that SARS escaped from a Beijing lab twice in 2004. The virus that causes COVID-19 is SARS-CoV-2. If SARS 1.0 leaked from a Chinese lab twice, why is it a conspiracy theory to question whether SARS 2.0 could have also escaped from a Chinese lab? Nobody has answered this persuasively.

As the founder of Check Your Fact, one of the best fact-checking operations in America, I am well aware of the massive amount of completely made-up misinformation on the internet. When it comes to health issues such as the coronavirus, misinformation can be dangerous. However, it’s also dangerous to allow interested parties or countries with something to hide to use claims of misinformation or conspiracy to suppress legitimate debate or oversight.

Throughout history, numerous initial expert conclusions about major matters have been proven wrong over time: Y2K, Titanic can’t sink, smoking is good for you. The list goes on. The media is supposed to be skeptical. It is supposed to be on the lookout for conflicts and bias, yet almost nobody in America understands this simple narrative because the media has chosen to ignore it. We are a long way from 1930, but it sure seems like nothing has changed.

Neil Patel co-founded The Daily Caller, one of America’s fastest-growing online news outlets, which regularly breaks news and distributes it to over 15 million monthly readers. Patel also co-founded The Daily Caller News Foundation, a nonprofit news company that trains journalists, produces fact-checks and conducts longer-term investigative reporting. The Daily Caller News Foundation licenses its content free of charge to over 300 news outlets, reaching potentially hundreds of millions of people per month. To find out more about Neil Patel and read features by other Creators writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators website at


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McRant (@guest_1143046)
5 months ago

I remain convinced that China purposely mutated COVID into COVID 19, which was then transmissable to humans. They infected ‘volunteers’ and sent them out as human vectors to spread the disease-mostly to Europe, Israel, and the US, all of which Xi considers threats to China.

roger vanhulle (@guest_1143401)
Reply to  McRant
5 months ago

I’ll bet Tic Tok knows enough, enough to indoctrinate our children, to indoctrinate us!

McRant (@guest_1143059)
5 months ago

US statistics on COVID deaths have been hugely overstated. However, even if we use these highly inflated numbers, we find that COVID deaths are 0.14% of the population. That’s less than 2 tenths of 1%. Put another way, 99.86% of the population survived COVID or were never infected.
In 1918-19, the Spanish Flu here killed 10% of the population: one in every 10 people.

McRant (@guest_1143080)
5 months ago

For this 0.14% deaths from COVID, we have been forced into destroying our economy, our small businesses, our children’s mental health and education, our personal wealth and property, our identities, our smiles, our voices, our rights and freedoms, and our country.
Again, we have been suckered into another scare in order to keep us from focusing on the reality of the threats to America from within.

Scott Romain (@guest_1143103)
Reply to  McRant
5 months ago

Just try and make sense of it?

David (@guest_1143102)
5 months ago

It’s pretty obvious that the democratic party is complicit in coming up with a virus so they could change voting laws in order to allow mail in ballots so biden would be elected and all investigations against hunter and family go away along with our freedoms.

D Bent (@guest_1144498)
Reply to  David
5 months ago

Its all part and parcel of the “secret” [email protected] that “they” – the [email protected] – have been conc0cting for [email protected] They got the wind kn0cked out of their sails in the 1950’s. And since have been biding their time [email protected] vari0us $egments of s0ciety. They’ve decided that now’s the time 2 let loose the “d0gs of he11”. Why? – p0wer and m0ney 4 the 0ligarchs of the “w0rld 0rder”. We’ve been [email protected] 4 quite some time, but [email protected]’t [email protected] close @ttention. A crisi$ atop the other soci0po1itical issues (manufactured or manufactured for them) was the last ‘straw’ needed 2 set-up the perfect st0rm for w0rld [email protected] and [email protected] It’s ca11ed the [email protected] Re$et. 99% of us will bec0me [email protected] in this newest editi0n of “the Fueda1 $ystem”.

Carol Powell (@guest_1143219)
5 months ago

How about we brand the lone American on the group who went to China as a traitor to our country

Phil, Wisdom of age (@guest_1144136)
5 months ago

For the past roughly 60 years the annual influenza outbreaks have been said to have originated from Asia. The 1 year that I expected a global outbreak was the year of the Beijing Olympics, yet that year surprisingly there was no influenza outbreak at all. Because of the lack of an outbreak, it has lead me to believe that China has been working on biological weapons, and deliberately releasing them to study it’s effectiveness, spread, ability to mutate and the ability of the world to combat them. A few years ago there were major outbreaks that were carried by birds and pig, but those did not transmit the illness to people, but it was devastating to chicken, turkey, and pig farmers. Last year a number Americans received unsolicited seeds from some company in China, but word got out early to people not to plant them. Who knows what kind of plant diseases they might have unleashed in this country.

D Bent (@guest_1144500)
5 months ago

Its all part and parcel of the “secret” [email protected] that “they” – the [email protected] – have been conc0cting for [email protected] They got the wind kn0cked out of their sails in the 1950’s. And since have been biding their time [email protected] vari0us $egments of s0ciety. They’ve decided that now’s the time 2 let loose the “d0gs of he11”. Why? – p0wer and m0ney 4 the 0ligarchs of the “w0rld 0rder”. We’ve been [email protected] 4 quite some time, but [email protected]’t [email protected] close @ttention. A crisi$ atop the other soci0po1itical issues (manufactured or manufactured for them) was the last ‘straw’ needed 2 set-up the perfect st0rm for w0rld [email protected] and [email protected] It’s ca11ed the [email protected] Re$et. 99% of us will bec0me [email protected] in this newest editi0n of “the Fueda1 $ystem”.

Javiernop (@guest_1235310)
3 months ago

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