John Stewart argues passionately for the lab-grown Covid theory as Colbert laughs nervously

Originally published at: John Stewart argues passionately for the lab-grown Covid theory as Colbert laughs nervously | Boing Boing


Get Out Ugh GIF


I honestly couldn’t tell if he was serious when I watched this this morning. I’m not saying it’s not possible, but all the experts have been saying it’s unlikely to have come from a lab. Until we hear otherwise from reputable organizations, I’ll remain skeptical of the lab-grown theory.


is it possible he has the relationship backwards? I mean it’s not like there haven’t been other Corona viruses.


Is there a consensus among TV hosts?


I mean…he used to be the host of a very popular comedy show, so it all checks out. How could we all have gotten it so wrong??

EDIT In all seriousness, I think there is a possibility that the virus started at the lab, but anyone stating it with certainty is clearly overstepping. Maybe Jon Stewart was joking, but more likely he was trolling and expecting to retreat into a “ha, ha…just joking” in a few weeks when this dies down, or an “I told ya so” if he turns out to be right.


I still am not 100% sure it was a half serious ranty comedic bit, or actually serious.

Certainly I trust the Chinese government as far as I can throw them. And certainly it is possible something was being studied that escaped the lab. But while I think these things should be investigated, it shouldn’t really be talked about like it is actually likely.

Occam’s Razor and all, there needs to be proof to before any of this has actual merit beyond “what if?”


His mock rant on scientists’ explanation for the virus reminded me of Buddy Hackett’s rant about what he saw as questionable experimental findings re the ingestion of cyclamates: They injected a mouse with cyclamates and so much of it that it exploded, and a piece of its ass hit the mouse behind it but before that one died, it said, “It was the cyclamates.”


These are 2 of my favorites. I’ve missed Stewart so much since he left the Daily Show, and watching this is just painful


It’s Jon, not John, but given his argument here (real or fake), I’m more like “whatever” on that. :woman_shrugging:


Laughs are getting hard to come by, apparently.


It’s useful to make a distinction between “a virus created in a lab” and “a lab accident involving collected virus specimen.” The first is considered wildly unlikely based on the virus’s complexity, the second is a plausible but unproven possibility.

The phrase “lab-grown” in the headline is perhaps not helpful.


Can they even rule out the collectors who gather the samples from the caves? A procedure slipup with an itchy nose in the caves, back to the Wuhan lab to drop off the samples, and then down to market for some Pho noodles.


My thoughts on this have been the same since early 2020: WHO CARES

I’m not being flippant. Even if there were any evidence at all of this connection, how exactly would it matter with respect to the fact of the pandemic?

Since we are dealing in insinuation and speculation here, I will speculate that those who think this is an urgent question are looking for someone to blame. And whether that comes from QAnon or people like Jon Stewart, it is dumb and unproductive. The question of who knew best all along is of zero importance.

Of course it is feasible that this lab is connected with the outbreak happening when and where it did. But there would have been a pandemic sooner or later regardless, which is exactly why the lab exists. So at most we’re talking about wonkish details of a foreign country’s public health operations. If Jon Stewart wants me to think that’s what he’s concerned about… well… bullshit. He doesn’t deserve any more of a pass for this just-a-question tactic than anyone else does.


Doesn’t make a huge difference in how we would deal with the ongoing pandemic. But surely you agree that, were it somehow proven to a high degree of certainty that the spread of this virus was the result of an accidental lab leak, it would lead to changes in lab safety protocols and related funding decisions around the world? Were it proven to be a lab leak this would be, by orders of magnitude, the deadliest industrial accident in human history. And there have been a LOT of bad industrial accidents.

  1. A virus someone caught in the wild. Just minding their own business, out shopping one day.
  2. A virus someone caught in the wild, while collecting samples looking for viruses.
  3. A virus being studied in a lab and someone made a mistake, an opsie.
  4. A virus being studied in a lab and someone experimented on it’s structure and then made a mistake also, a double opsie. Perhaps in a lab where the safety level is lower than that type of experiment requires (the bio safety level), a triple opsie of bad decisions.
  5. A virus being engineered as biological weapon by the government where the experimental decisions were not simply poor choices but directed and desired that then got away from it’s creators and caused global catastrophe
  6. The same, but it didn’t get away, it was released.

I always get the feeling most stories about coming from a lab mean those last 2. That sounds rather conspiracy minded. Imaging the complete failure of intelligence agencies if it’s one of those and they didn’t know it was happening or being worked on.

The two in the middle? How many people haven’t made “poor decisions” or screwed up at work. Sure, most of us don’t work in a building with a bio safety rating. On much more mundane mistakes my perception is the person who made them will often try to cover up the issue and get around it. Who doesn’t know the IT storage engineer that accidentally removed the physical storage assigned to the production database and then tried to undo it without anyone noticing? They all noticed. Who doesn’t know a friend of a friend of a friend that’s a post doc or graduate student in a lab making poor experimental decisions and just getting lucky? These don’t sound that far fetched. A poor lottery winner for sure.

None of the first four would surprise me.


i’m half-hoping that he’s got a new culture-jammy schtick he’s working on, where he plays a conspiracy-theory crank, and dispels the nonsense from INSIDE THE HOUSE.


That’s certainly been my position. The assumption people who are fans of the “lab- created” idea like to leap to is that it was grown intentionally as a weapon to be used on apparently everybody for reasons. Tends to fall apart at that point. They’ve been reading/ watching The Stand and similar, not actually thinking critically.


Things are a lot more complicated than what Stewart and the Qnutters propose, and some of what Stewart says is demonstrably wrong (the lab is NOT called the “Wuhan Novel Coronavirus Lab” for example, it’s the Wuhan Institute of Virology.)

Also, Wuhan is a center for trade, so people from all over that part of China come there to buy and sell, someone carrying the virus could easily have brought it there unknowingly. Why is it that coincidences can’t happen when it comes to something big like this?

And if China’s secrecy is the issue, ask if the USA would allow China to come inspect US facilities if there was an outbreak here. The WIV actually shared a lot of its early data freely with the world, like good scientists do.

I absolutely agree that we should be more vigilant with respect to all high biosafety level labs studying disease. But we should be more strict and vigilant with nuclear facilities too, and yet we’ve had multiple devastating nuclear accidents. I don’t think science caused this pandemic like Stewart says, but a lot of our overall scientific progress does present new problems, even if it’s not immediately obvious (for example, all technological advancement is basically thanks to science, so cars and planes make it so a pandemic can spread farther and faster.)


Every since the Bothsideist 2010 Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear, Jon Stewart always seems determined to take every opportunity he can to chip away at the considerable goodwill he built up with me in the years prior.