Source : Opindia.com
In its article published on February 17, 2020, the Washington Post had described Senator Cotton’s claim as “debunked” and a “conspiracy theory.” Now, after earlier claims of ‘natural origin’ for the Wuhan virus face wide scientific scrutiny, the Post has corrected its report.
The Washington Post has issued a correction on its 2020 report, which criticised Republican Senator Tom Cotton for defending the claim that the Covid-19 virus may have escaped from a laboratory in Wuhan, China.
As scientists and health experts worldwide discuss the possible lab origin of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Washington Post has silently edited out one of its reports that had debunked Senator Cotton’s assertion about the origins of the coronavirus pandemic by dismissing it as a “conspiracy theory”.
Senator Tom Cotton, along with former President Trump, had spoken about the possibility of Covid-19 originating from a lab leak in Wuhan, China, in 2019. Speaking to Fox News, Republican Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton had pointed to the Wuhan Institute of Virology as a potential origin of the disease.
“We don’t know where it originated, and we have to get to the bottom of that,” Cotton had said, adding, “We also know that just a few miles away from that food market is China’s only biosafety level 4 super laboratory that researches human infectious diseases.”
In its article published on February 17, 2020, the Washington Post had described Senator Cotton’s claim as “debunked” and a “conspiracy theory.”
Responding to Cotton’s statements, the Post had written a report with an original headline from February 17, 2020, that read, “Tom Cotton keeps repeating a coronavirus conspiracy theory that was already debunked.” In the earlier report, Post had dismissed the lab leak theories of Covid-19 by saying that Senator Cotton was repeating a conspiracy theory.
Washington Post edits its headline, deletes its reference to ‘conspiracy theory’
Fifteen months later, as lab leak theories are gaining renewed attention, and with President Biden announcing a probe to look into the possibility of the lab leak of the Covid-19, Washington Post has quietly edited its previous report that questioned Senator Cotton’s similar claims.
The headline has now been corrected on Tuesday to read, “Tom Cotton keeps repeating a coronavirus fringe theory that scientists have disputed”.
The Post has also issued a statement with the correction that said the Post’s use of the words “debunked” and “conspiracy theory” has “been removed because, then as now, there was no determination about the origins of the virus.”
In the article, the Post has altered the world “conspiracy theory” to refer to Cotton’s claims as “fringe”. It also changed the reference to “debunked” to refer to his theories as “disputed”.
“Earlier versions of this story and its headline inaccurately characterized comments by Senator Tom Cotton regarding the origins of the coronavirus. The term ‘debunked’ and The Post’s use of ‘conspiracy theory’ have been removed because, then as now, there was no determination about the origins of the virus,” the editor’s note read.
Many US leaders have spoken against the ‘media dishonesty’. They have called out the US media for perpetuating a false narrative and setting down voices that demanded truth.