Just because the media say something doesn't necessarily mean it's not true. In the case of Trump's claim that COVID-19 originated in a Wuhan lab -- or as I call it, the All Cultures Are the Same! Theory -- the media are probably right.
Granted, whatever the truth is, it will somehow become an argument for more immigration and more war. Still, the lab theory sounds a lot like what we were told before going to war in Iraq and Afghanistan. We need to liberate the poor Afghans and Iraqis from their vile leaders! They're just like us!
Then it turned out the Iraqis were shooting at our guys, as well as one another, and the Afghans were pederasts. Twenty years later, we're still there and not much has changed. They weren't just like us.
The Chinese aren't just like us. Cultural differences are a more likely explanation for the Wuhan flu pandemic than a simple lab accident.
Here are some of the clues:
1) Chinese people eat bats, dogs, civet cats and live octopuses, as well as a variety of endangered species, which are sold at wet markets, jam-packed with wildlife being slaughtered on site in breathtakingly unsanitary conditions. Among the "high-risk" behaviors at wet markets cited by the National Institutes of Health, shoppers "[blow] the cloacae of chickens" to "examine their healthiness." (Look it up.)
2) At least a half-dozen other animal-to-human viruses have come from the wet markets.
3) Scientists have been warning us for decades: THE NEXT VIRAL PANDEMIC WILL COME FROM THE CHINESE WET MARKETS!
That doesn't prove that this particular virus came from the wet markets, but it doesn't sound like a case for Jessica Fletcher.
4) A lot has been made of the fact that there's a biosafety level-4 super laboratory in Wuhan that just happens to study bats, the original incubator of this coronavirus. More ominously, last year, the lab was cited by the U.S. for safety violations.
On the other hand ...
a) Any lab studying coronaviruses is going to be studying bats, the source of a vast number of viruses, including the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome virus (SARS), the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome virus (MERS), the Marburg, Nipah and Hendra viruses and the Ebola virus.
b) Any lab studying deadly viruses is going to have safety violations. (Just a few years ago, the U.S. military accidentally shipped live anthrax samples to nine labs in the U.S. and a military base in South Korea.)
c) For 20 years, coronaviruses have emerged from Chinese wet markets.
Maybe this coronavirus came from a lab accident! (There's a bio lab nearby.)
For 20 years, nooses showing up on college campuses have been hoaxes intended to raise "awareness" of racism.
Maybe this time it's an actual racist! (There's a fraternity nearby.)
For 20 years, Muslims have staged spectacular terrorist attacks on the West.
Maybe 9/11 was the Israelis! (What about the dancing Israelis?)
5) The lab theory places great stock in the fact that bats were not for sale at the wet market in Wuhan.
But the coronavirus didn't jump from bats directly to humans. Like SARS, MERS and the bird flu (H5N1), it migrated from bats to some other exotic animal, and then to humans.
Based on a genetic analysis, the intermediate animal in the Wuhan virus is believed to be the pangolin.
Guess what was for sale at the Wuhan wet market? Pangolins! ("Traditional Chinese medicine" teaches that pangolin scales can cure a score of ailments, from impotence to arthritis.)
6) Western scientists who have examined the Wuhan coronavirus say it's "improbable" that the virus "emerged through laboratory manipulation" rather than natural selection. Kristian Andersen, director of Infectious Disease Genomics at the Scripps Research Institute, for example, notes that that "the genetic data irrefutably show that [the Wuhan virus] is not derived from any previously used virus backbone."
7) Twenty-seven of the original 41 Chinese people who came down with COVID-19 had been to the Wuhan wet market. Several others were family members of those infected at the wet market.
8) New diseases are constantly being attributed to mad scientists whipping something up in their laboratories -- AIDS, Lyme disease and Ebola, to name a few. Louis Farrakhan and Spike Lee were big proponents of the idea that AIDS was made in a government lab just outside Virginia.
No matter how much you hate the media, conservatives, you don't want to sound like those guys.
Finally, we don't need a crackpot It Escaped From a Lab! theory to blame the Chinese for this pandemic. They allowed these disease-ridden wet markets to continue, year after year, pandemic after pandemic, putting the entire planet at risk.
We also don't need another war to "liberate" the Chinese from their Communist masters. (I note that the primary advocates of the lab theory are Permanent War devotees Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Sen. Tom Cotton.)
We just need to shut down the wet markets, shut down the border and bring our manufacturing home.
All cultures are not alike.