Scientists speak out on COVID lab leak theory, and how they were silenced: ‘All about politics’

(Video: Fox News)

Scientists around the world have begun to speak out against the censorship that took place regarding questions about the origins of COVID-19 in its early days.

In a Fox News feature from reporter Benjamin Hall, several scientists discussed the backlash they received after suggesting that COVID began as a result of a lab leak in China.

Nikolai Petrovsky, a Flinders University Medicine professor in Australia, insisted, “It was all about politics and it was never about science.”

Author Matt Ridley concurred.

“Senior scientists [were] quietly saying to me, we think you’re right that it does need to be taken seriously, but we dare not say so because the funding agencies might give us a hard time,” he said.

German physicist Roland Wiesendanger of the University of Hamburg lamented, “If famous and top virologists are not sticking to the truth anymore, then we have no basis in science anymore to make progress.”

Established medical journals refused to publish scientists who said that a lab leak was likely, with authors like Petrovsky “getting blanket rejections from editors, saying ‘too hot to handle,'” according to the Australian professor.

Petrovsky also indicated another possible motive for the reluctance to discuss a possible lab leak.

“There was a concern about offending China, and people didn’t want to upset that relationship,” he asserted, noting that China has a strong influence over the medical community and research papers.

Mainstream media also rejected efforts to offer discussion or debate about the topic.

Ridley explained, “You weren’t allowed to discuss this possibility on Facebook. Wikipedia pretty well censored it. The New York Times and other outlets basically said ‘that’s a conspiracy theory, that’s been already debunked.'”

Ronen Shemesh, Israeli biotechnologist, posited that fear of the truth about gain-of-function research was a big factor. “When they show that science could create something so malicious, this is a very big obstacle for the scientific community.”

Shemesh also agreed with Petrovsky’s assertion that the politics surrounding a lab leak played a role: “They feared that this might help former President Donald Trump.”

Petrovsky was just one of many who suspected the lab leak theory to be correct from the beginning. He expressed his frustration with his, and others’ efforts to get their voices heard: “We got our head shot off from every direction from people who we now know were actually thinking exactly the same thing.”

Even now, according to Fox News, the scientists fear that the silencing of voices such as theirs has led to little change, with gain-of-function research continuing both in the U.S. and abroad despite growing calls for international regulation.


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