Jon Karl Says ‘People Have Egg on Their Face’ for Dismissing COVID-19 Lab Origin Theory
ABC News Chief Washington correspondent Jon Karl said on Sunday’s edition of This Week that “people have egg on their face” for dismissing the once-fringe theory that COVID-19 did not evolve naturally and instead was engineered in and subsequently escaped from a Chinese lab in Wuhan.
Former President Donald Trump began promulgating that hypothesis during the early days of the pandemic. And while at the time most scientists and researchers insisted that SARS-COV-2 mutated and jumped from bats to humans, new evidence indicates that the possibility can no longer be written off as a right-wing conspiracy.
President Joe Biden is taking the issue seriously and has instructed the American intelligence community to investigate the matter – as part of an international effort to discover the origins of the coronavirus – and to report back to him in three months.
In light of those developments, ABC’s Martha Raddatz asked Karl to make some sense of the situation.
“Jon I want to turn to COVID. We talk about COVID this week and travel is up again and the numbers of COVID cases are way down. But a lot of talk this week on the origin of COVID again. [Senator] Tom Cotton [R-AR] and many people in the Trump Administration said it originated in a lab in Wuhan, China, not with bats. They’re taking a second look at that. Do some people have egg on their face, and why does this matter?” Raddatz asked.
“Well look I mean it matters for the same reason we’re talking about the January 6th commission. We should found out what happened. This is one of the greatest crises our country has ever faced – the world’s ever faced – we need to know how it started,” Karl replied in reference to the proposal (which all but six Republicans in the Senate voted to kill) that would have established a bipartisan congressional committee to investigate the Trump-led insurrection at the United States Capitol.
“And yes, 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 – Donald Trump. And look, some things may be true even if Donald Trump said them,” Karl continued. “And there was, because Trump was saying so much else, it was just out of control. And because he was — you know — making a frankly racist appeal, talking about ‘Kung Flu’ and the China virus, he put forward this notion – he said flatly that this came from that lab – it was widely dismissed. But actually, there’s 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 look.”