(USA Features) ABC News’s Jonathan Karl said Sunday that it’s possible that the theory COVID-19 escaped from a Wuhan, China lab could be true even though “racist” former President Donald Trump first said as much.
“Tom Cotton especially and many people in the Trump administration said it originated in the lab in Wuhan, China, not with bats. They’re taking a second look at that. Some people have egg on their face, and why does this matter?” “This Week” host Martha Radditz asked Karl, the network’s senior political correspondent.
“Well, I mean, look, it matters for the same reason we were talking about the January 6 commission. We should find out what happened,” Karl began.
“This is one of the greatest crises our country has ever faced, and the world has ever faced. We need to know how it started,” he continued. “I think a lot of people have egg on their face. This was an idea that was first put forward by Mike Pompeo, Secretary of State [under] Donald Trump.”
“Look, some things may be true even if Donald Trump said them. And there was because Donald Trump was saying so much else,” said Karl.
“It was just out of control. Because he was, you know, making a frankly racist appeal talking about Kung-flu and the China virus, his notion put forward — or no, he said flatly this came from that lab, and it was widely dismissed,” he added.
“But actually, there is some real reason — we don’t know, by the way, we still don’t know, we absolutely don’t know— but now serious people are saying it needs a serious inquiry,” said the correspondent.
Supporters of the former president pointed out that other viruses that began in certain parts of the world have also been named after the region, such as the “Spanish flu” of 1918.
Also, it’s likely that Trump’s early claim about the virus’ lab origin was informed by his intelligence officials.
Last week, Trump’s former acting Director of National Intelligence, Richard Grenell, said the intelligence community signed off on a statement that analysts believed the virus came either from the Wuhan lab or from a nearby “wet” market.
“…[T]he intelligence community 100 percent agreed across the board, that it either started in a Wuhan lab or in what we said animal to human transmission, which really means wet market,” he said.