“Please Don’t Write About It”: New York Times Science Reporter Declares Lab Leak Theory “Racist”

Despite recent reports raising questions over whether Covid-19 originated in a the Wuhan virology lab and Dr. Fauci admitting that the leak theory was possible (and worth investigating), the science and health reporter for the New York Times declared yesterday that the theory was “racist.” Even Facebook has announced that it is willing to allow users to discuss the theory and underlying evidence. When the tweets triggered an outcry, Apoorva Mandavilli deleted the tweets and, when asked by a Fox reporter for a comment, added “please don’t write” about her controversy.

For over a year, mainstream media including the New York Times has declared that the lab theory was “debunked” which was always demonstrably untrue. The lab theory and the theory of natural origins are just that: theories. There is support and questions for each theory. However, during the Trump Administration, the lab theory became part of a narrative against Trump and his supporters as racists.

Last week, it was disclosed that three researchers from the Wuhan Institute of Virology required hospitalization in November 2019.  It is also known that the lab was working on such bat virus, including dangerous “gain of function” research.

Now various scientists and sources have acknowledged that the lab could be the origin of the virus and should be investigated with the natural origins theory.  The change is embarrassing to many reporters who assured readers that the lab theory was debunked racist conspiracy theory.

Apoorva Mandavilli is one of those who was supposed to be covering such stories and exploring all possible origins.  She is insisting that, regardless of what Fauci or others say, it is nothing more than a racist conspiracy theory.  She tweeted  “Someday we will stop talking about the lab leak theory and maybe even admit its racist roots. But alas, that day is not yet here.”  She added that “A theory can have racist roots and still gather reasonable supporters along the way. Doesn’t make the roots any less racist or the theory any more convincing, though.”

Many noted that a science writer should … well … follow the science. An objective reporter would recognize that either origin is possible but that there is thus far no conclusive evidence. The lack of evidence is due in large part to the Chinese government arresting scientists, barring access, and preventing full inquiries despite the death of millions around the world.

Mandavilli later revised her statement to say that the lab theory is “possible” but not “plausible.” She did not explain why it is not plausible or why (if it is possible) it is clearly also a racist theory.

Later she deleted the tweets and, when a reporter contacted her, explained “I deleted it because it unleashed some incredibly nasty tweets and DMs. So please don’t write about it.”

It was an ironic request because the New York Times had long decided not to write about the lab theory while claiming it was a racist conspiracy theory.

Mandavilli still seem to view this fact as “too good to check” despite growing countervailing statements. Asked if the virus’ origin presumptively was forged in nature, Fauci said: “No, actually. 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.” Likewise, former Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director Robert Redfield has said publicly that he believes the virus escaped from the Chinese lab.

Retired New York Times science editor Nicholas Wade has chastised his former colleagues for ignoring the obvious evidence supporting a lab theory as well as Chinese efforts to arrest scientists and destroy evidence that could establish the origin.

Mandavilli is one of those colleagues but she appears undeterred by the science and unmotivated to question her own rejection of lab theory.

72 thoughts on ““Please Don’t Write About It”: New York Times Science Reporter Declares Lab Leak Theory “Racist””

  1. She will probably need therapy because she cannot deal with the fact that she is faced with being wrong.

  2. If its China’s fault, its not Trump’s fault, and therein is the rub.

  3. I believe if we could find and watched Dinesh DiSouza’s frighteningly prescient 2012 documentary–2016: Obama’s America–we will find he was spot on about most everything. Lest we forget, Obama promised repeatedly to fundamentally change America. Unfortunately, it happens to be one of the few campaign promises a politician has kept.

  4. “Please Don’t Write About It”: New York Times Science Reporter Declares Lab Leak Theory “Racist”

    – Professor Turley

    “Racist” you say!

    Affirmative action, quotas, forced busing, unfair “Fair Housing” laws, discriminatory “Non-Discrimination” laws, the NAACP, SNAP, WIC, TANF, HAMP, HARP, HUD, HHS, Obamacare, etc., are racist, oh, and, just incidentally, unconstitutional, but don’t tell the judicial branch. Whatever you do, don’t tell the judicial branch.

  5. When someone says that unless you do X (support BLM, CRT, condemn all whites…), then you’re racist, treat it like the absurd remark that it is.

    Too few recognize that this is pure manipulation. Support us or we’ll label you evil. We’ll sic our Brown Shirts on you. You’d better vote Democrat, and repeat Democrat talking points, or else. They spew racist slurs at black conservatives who won’t vote how they’re told and the legacy media excuses it. They treat Trump supporters like they’re Neo Nazis, and so few question it.

    This is the ploy used for centuries by authoritarian regimes and coups. Support Napoleon or go to the guillotine. Give the state your farm in Ukraine or the socialist state will starve you and your children to death, you greedy capitalists.

    Label your enemy as evil, and then you don’t have to engage in factual, reasoned debate.

    “A mind is a terrible thing to waste.” Don’t be a sheep.

    1. You are completely correct.
      Leftists don’t value truth. Only power.

    2. It’s a shame you don’t have a mind to waste, Karen. You are incapable of factual or reasoned debate because you are a disciple, a fanatical follower of a bloated, racist, ignoramus narcissist misogynist who is a pathological liar. Your beliefs are based on faith in this defective person, rather than the truth, and are fueled by alt-right media.

  6. Physical axiom:

    Races are racist.

    “Birds of a feather flock together.”

    – Anonymous

    “Biological bipeds of identical plumages are gregarious.”

    – Anonymous

  7. I wonder if we are approaching the “F,,,Off” point when someone declares that one thing or the other–anything really–is racist. I certainly am. I don’t care anymore.

    1. I think we have already approached the point that the word ‘racist’ has become meaningless. Like a lot of other things the left has converted a useful word into cr-p.

    2. Americans enjoy freedom of speech, thought, religion, belief, press, publication, assembly, segregation and every other conceivable, natural and God-given right, freedom, privilege and immunity per the 9th Amendment.

      The American Founders required citizens to be “…free white person(s)…” in the Naturalization Acts of 1790, 1795, 1798 and 1802, four iterations, establishing that favor, “racism” and “discrimination” are absolutely constitutional.

      Elected officials may favor as they deem appropriate, as there is no constitutional mandate to favor any particular individual or group – it’s the vote that matters – that’s why elected officials are voted in or voted out.

  8. China released a biological weapon, “China Flu, 2019,” in order to reduce its elderly population and to adversely affect the West, with emphasis on the re-election campaign of President Donald J. Trump, China’s sole nemesis, in an election year.

    Multiple redundant safety systems may be layered so that any lab is fail safe.

    Viruses don’t get out unless lab operators want the viruses out.

    “China is missing 500,000,000-7000,000,000 tax payers, potential military and labor under forty years old because of their famous One Child Only Policy. Their labor force began to shrink for the first time two years ago and their demographic dividend will certainly fade. Theoretically China could fix this issue with immigration but they would have to annex Indonesia completely, three times. And besides they are xenophobic. Their decline will be slow and certain and cannot be reversed. If it a leak were possible, humankind would have long ago been dead.”

    – Anonymous Demographer

  9. There needs to be a hard look at what Collins and Fauci have been doing for years regarding gain of function research. As highly experienced bureaucrats, they appear to be denying involvement with this kind of research at the WIV by playing games with definitions. In his most recent appearance before Congress, Fauci defined gain of function research as experiments on viruses that “could infect humans” to increase their pathogenicity and transmissibility “for humans”. This would exclude from the definition experiments on viruses that do not infect humans to see if they can be enhanced to infect humans. If this is his working definition, it would explain how he has avoided flagging for panel review and risk assessment under the December 2017 procedures regarding proposed gain of function research any grants except for two on influenza. It would also explain his at best misleading response to Rand Paul’s questions about funding gain of function research at the WIV. According to Dr Richard Ebright, who has been arguing against gain of function research for nearly two decades, it is undeniable that NIH/NIAID was funding this kind of work at the WIV, using any reasonable definition of what it is. Collins and Fauci need to be questioned under oath by competent interrogators who can penetrate their bureaucratic obfuscation. If anything comes out of the revitalisation of the lab leak hypothesis it should include better control, if not the elimination, of gain of function research and improved biosafety requirements.

  10. Some in the discussion seem to have forgotten that a theory can have racist origins and still be viable.

    What ever the origins of a theory, racist or otherwise, the only way to determine the truth of a theory is by testing to determine whether it is supported by the evidence or falsified by the evidence. It would seem that a science writer would understand that.

  11. Lest we forget… earlier SARS Covid Outbreaks were “walked out” of Chinese Labs. Here is a discussion of a the 2004 Beijing SARS Covid breakout which was directly tied to a specific lab and its personnel. No bats or pangolins blamed earlier.



    Well written piece Prof. Turley.

  12. It was never about THE science, it was always follow their science. Big difference

    1. Or put another way, for the MSM, Harris-Biden admin, and social media, it’s about following the scientists, not the science. No thanks.

  13. There is a lesson in this. Just because someone claims an action is racist, doesn’t mean that it is.

    Stop accepting the pronouncement that something is racist at face value.

    1. No one, at this point, knows exactly what happened to spawn this virus. We all have theories, and we seek out facts to explain those theories, but if someone has a theory different from mine, I would consider it the height of arrogance to suggest it is driven by a biased motivation. I don’t believe any of us should participate in the cancel culture, but it’s almost our duty to mock such thinkers out of their current profession.

      1. “No one, at this point, knows exactly what happened to spawn this virus.”

        That is correct, but one can assign probabilities, and one that would lead the pack would be a Wuhan lab was the source.

        Another one of the higher probability claims is that the virus was intentionally manipulated.

        Though more needs to be known, it seems that Fauci and other prominent scientists had direct or indirect responsibility for such attempts to modify the coronavirus at a Wuhan lab.

        Unassigned probability: The Democrats are protecting themselves from scrutiny because of their involvement. Major or minor awaits the results of a real investigation.

      2. Rilaly, we don’t know for sure what happened to spawn this virus but we do know that 50,000 tests have been performed on 300 species and no virus has been found. I went to my bookie and asked him to cover my bet that the virus came from nature. He said. I ain’t coveren none of that action man.

        However, I do agree with your assessment of the reporter who finds racism under every rock.

  14. There have been other infectious viruses whose source was found and successful mitigation was put in place that limited the spread of the virus. The lab hypothesis was called a conspiracy theory because Trump said it could have come from a lab. 50,000 tests have been performed on three hundred animal species without finding a source for the virus in nature. This testing has taken fifteen months. What if the lab possibility had been taken more seriously and shortened the time of discovery allowing mitigation sooner? How many lives might have been saved? Every other day or so we see that derangement syndrome takes someone’s life on our streets. Trump Derangement Syndrome is no exception.

    1. The theory that it could have come from the Wuhan Institute of Virology did not come out of thin air. There were State Department cables with concerns on biohazard safety at this BSL4 lab. There was the trail of US funding to this lab. That they were studying gain of function of coronaviruses in that lab was already known at the time.

      Yet this was treated like a tinfoil hat conspiracy theory due to political bias against everything Trump.

  15. In the fullness of time, Fauci, for all the harm he’s done, turns out to be the gift that keeps on giving: having trapped the legacy media and Trump haters into taking death grips on his guesses, he then reverses himself, revises what he said and/or contextualizes his pronouncements in a way that renders his former guesses “inoperative” and leaves those who failed to think for themselves thoroughly discredited and looking like fools.

    Not that they’d ever admit as much.

  16. “Follow the science” seems to have a new meaning now: “Follow our narrative”. Science, by definition, is never settled. It is the search for new facts, building on the known to solve the unknown. If the NYT were still a viable source of actual news, this person would be fired. They’ve had no problem firing people who offended their woke staff members … after all.

      1. It presumes diversity [dogma] (i.e. color judgment). A belief, not limited to racism, sex-ism, ageism, that denies individual dignity, individual conscience, intrinsic value, and normalizes color blocs (e.g. racist designation: “people of color”), color quotas, and affirmative discrimination.

      2. I’m afraid I can’t, because it isn’t, fellow deplorable. Neither “China” nor “Chinese” is a race, they represent a nation and a nationality.

Comments are closed.