Lab Leak Update: Investigation Continues & Jon Stewart Enters the Fray

The lab leak narrative is evolving to recriminate the Trump administration. Both the left and the right are claiming some sort of victory over Jon Stewarts Wuhan lab jokes.


Through the Biden administration’s “90 day review” of intelligence data, it is focusing on a memo in the last days of the Trump administration detailing the possibility of several Wuhan Institute of Virology employees getting sick as well as the lab’s work on “gain of function” research.

  • As the debate over the coronavirus’ origin rages on, Politico reported the Trump administration’s efforts to elevate the lab leak theory early on in the pandemic, mostly as a response to China’s attempts to pin the blame on the United States. 
  • China, unsurprisingly is pushing back on what is slowly coalescing to be a plausible theory, with Chinese officials calling the theory “absurd.” 
  • Comedian Jon Stewart joined television host Stephen Colbert this week, in which he ridiculed Chinese excuses about the pandemic, saying it was obvious the Wuhan lab conducting coronavirus research had something to do with a coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan. 
  • Meanwhile, more information has been revealed about the nature and type of research being conducted at the lab, with video footage showing live bats being held and studied at the facility, despite China’s insistence that was not the case.


reporting from the left side of the aisle


  • The Washington Post and Slate turned on Jon Stewart, with WaPo reminding everyone not to listen to celebrities for scientific advice while Slate is wringing their hands and wondering if Jn Stewart was being sarcastic
  • Mother Jones detailed the uncomfortable nexus between activists opposed to genetically modified organisms in food products (colloquially called ant-GMO activists) and theories about the Wuhan lab leak, turning on a group “progressive foodies” would normally support because of the political realities of what a confirmed lab leak might mean. 
  • The New Republic attempted to poison the well by focusing on the Republican response to the sudden revelations among the media that the lab leak theory was plausible, trying to conflate truly insane theories about the coronavirus, such as Bill Gates purposely releasing the virus, with notions that are completely within the realm of possibility and being investigated by the Biden administration.



  • Fox News, RedState, and Townhall all focused on the “liberal reaction” to Jon Stewart’s apparent acknowledgement that the Chinese government isn’t being forthright on the coronavirus’ origins. 
  • The Daily Caller reported on the revelation of live bats being housed at the Wuhan lab, and the complete lies being told by Peter Daszak, who runs the non-profit EcoHealth Alliance. EcoHealth was the cut-out organization receiving U.S. federal funds to conduct gain of function viral research, who then “collaborated” with the Wuhan Institute of Virology. 
  • The New York Post highlighted news from the Department of Health and Human Services, whose inspector general announced they will be conducting a review of NIH federal grant programs for compliance and oversight issues.

Author’s Take

The left’s turn on Jon Stewart is bittersweet. Just like Liz Cheney, who outlasted her usefulness as a Trump critic, Stewart has been branded an apostate for not adhering to the strict political dogma that everything is Trump’s fault. Mother Jones attempted to do the same thing, slinging mud at a group who would otherwise be quite comfortable residing in the big tent of leftism for acknowledging a reality that could conceivably vindicate a talking point of a Republican.

Yet, when Jon Stewart, or any celebrity for that matter, strays from the liberal line, at least one aspiring blogger on the right has to cheer on “liberals are losing their minds.” It is a predictable process that we must go through each time a celebrity says something that confirms the right’s priors.

Neither the left or the right can resist taking potshots at each other despite what is apparent: China is our adversary and they’re laughing while we squabble.

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© Dallas Gerber, 2021