Actress Kirstie Alley is up in arms about the media and government after reports the United States learned that several Wuhan lab researchers fell ill with coronavirus symptoms before the COVID-19 outbreak.
“Seriously??? ‘It might be possible that COVID began in the Wuhan lab?’ ….. all over the news NOW????!!!! What a clever government we have,” the “Cheers” star tweeted on Monday as headlines swirled of a purported “lab leak” that may have led to the pandemic the world still finds itself navigating.
A former State Department official told Fox News on Sunday that about a month before COVID-19 was first reported in Wuhan, China, foreign government contacts told State Department officials that several workers at the Wuhan Institute of Virology – one of the country’s most prestigious labs – fell ill in mid-November 2019.
In January 2021, the State Department disclosed that the “United States government has reason to believe that several researchers inside the WIV became sick in autumn 2019.” It found that they’d experienced symptoms consistent with both COVID-19 “and common seasonal illness.”
Meanwhile, The Wall Street Journal also maintained on Sunday, citing a previously undisclosed U.S. intelligence report, that the workers who had fallen sick required hospital care. The report said it was not entirely unusual for people in China to visit hospitals instead of primary care physicians, but the report could lend weight to the theory that the coronavirus leaked from a laboratory.
Many on social media took to Twitter to echo Alley’s sentiments and poke holes in her logic with one responder writing, “The illness in the labs in Nov 2019 was reported on by other sites over a year ago, but called a conspiracy by msm [mainstream media], democrats. Puzzled as to why now? Why the green light for all these stories to be OK to print, suddenly.”
Another commenter pressed, “To acknowledge Covid began in lab would mean Covid was real….and masks and vaccines were valid,” while another Twitter user argued that perhaps the story has run its course and needed reinvigorating in the media.
“It’s all in the timing Kirstie,” wrote the commenter. “Perhaps they’ve gotten enough mileage out of the pandemic by now.”
China has promoted unproven theories that the virus may have originated elsewhere or even been brought into the country from overseas with imports of frozen seafood tainted with the virus, a notion roundly rejected by international scientists and agencies.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases, said earlier this month that he was still “not convinced” that the virus developed naturally.
“There’s a lot of cloudiness around the origins of COVID-19 still, so I wanted to ask, are you still confident that it developed naturally?” PolitiFact’s Katie Sanders asked the nation’s top infectious disease expert at the United Facts of America: A Festival of Fact-Checking event.
“No, actually,” Fauci said. “I am not convinced about that, I think we should continue to investigate what went on in China until we continue to find out to the best of our ability what happened.”
Fox News’ Edmund DeMarche and Rich Edson contributed to this report.
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