A Washington Post fact-checker was criticized on social media Tuesday after switching his positions on whether COVID-19 leaked from the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
Glenn Kessler, the editor and chief writer of The Fact Checker, analyzed the lab-leak theory’s transformation from an alleged conspiracy to a possibility in his piece, “Timeline: How the Wuhan lab-leak theory suddenly became credible” after previously calling the theory “doubtful.” Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and Donald Trump Jr. slammed Kessler for changing his stance.
Trump responded to the article in a tweet on Tuesday, arguing that the theory has always been credible, and criticized the “narrative media” for desiring a different truth. “Didn’t anyone think the most likely scenario was the virus magically originated feet from the lab that worked with it?” he wrote. (RELATED: Media Dismissed Lab Leak Theory Because Trump Talked About It, According To A Senior Washington Post Reporter)
It didn’t “suddenly become credible” it was always credible. It literally always made the most sense. I understand the desired narrative media always wanted but didn’t anyone think the most likely scenario was the virus magically originated feet from the lab that worked with it? https://t.co/XO4Y5OlKLf
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) May 25, 2021
Cruz posted a photo of Kessler’s lab-leak tweets side by side, labeling the post with four clown emojis.
Clowns. ???????????????? pic.twitter.com/hpDEyxrdm2
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) May 25, 2021
Kessler had tweeted a video created by The Washington Post’s Meg Kelly and Sarah Cahlan on May 1, 2020, alleging that it was impossible for the virus to have escaped from a lab. At the time, Cruz fired back at the outlet, claiming that they produced Chinese Communist Party propaganda and that the footage ignored facts.
“If this reporter submitted this video in a freshman logic class, it wouldn’t receive a passing grade,” Cruz wrote.
1/x “Amazing” is definitely right word for this video. WaPo “abandoning all pretenses of journalism to produce CCP propaganda” would be another way to put it. If this reporter submitted this video in a freshman logic class, it wouldn’t receive a passing grade. Let’s review facts. https://t.co/IWjl5kIlMq
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) May 1, 2020
Kessler defended his position, arguing that the Texas senator missed the scientific evidence produced in the video and claimed that the newspaper followed scientific facts.
“We deal in facts, and viewers can judge for themselves,” Kessler said at the time.
I fear @tedcruz missed the scientific animation in the video that shows how it is virtually impossible for this virus jump from the lab. Or the many interviews with actual scientists. We deal in facts, and viewers can judge for themselves. https://t.co/TprMnaHSZL
— Glenn Kessler (@GlennKesslerWP) May 1, 2020
Aaron Blake, a senior reporter for The Washington Post, said Monday that corporate media largely ignored the lab-leak theory because former President Donald Trump talked about it, as previously reported.