Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) believes the results of the 2020 presidential election would have turned out differently if scientists and reporters gave more credence to the theory that COVID-19 leaked from a lab in China.
In an op-ed published by Fox News on Thursday, Graham wrote, “We know that COVID-19 is deadly, but after more than 15 months in which COVID-19 has changed every aspect of our life, there remain many things about COVID-19 that we don’t know.”
He continued, “Did it come directly from nature, a lab leak in Wuhan, or some mixture of the two? Did science become politicized? Why didn’t American scientists, many of whom immediately raised the concerns about a Wuhan lab leak when COVID-19 entered our world, actively pursue further investigation of their concerns?”
He went on to note that in February 2020, a group of scientists wrote in the medical journal The Lancet that they “strongly condemn conspiracy theories suggesting that COVID-19 does not have a natural origin.”
“Conspiracy theories do nothing but create fear, rumours, and prejudice that jeopardise our global collaboration in the fight against this virus,” the letter in The Lancet went on.
Graham stated, “There is no doubt in my mind the combination of prominent scientists coming out strongly against the lab leak theory, along with officials from the State Department shutting down additional inquiries, ended up being two of the most consequential events in the 2020 election cycle.”
“Their early and near-total dismissal of the lab leak theory played a prominent role in the defeat of President Trump in the 2020 presidential race,” he claimed.
“Why would they do this – to avoid any accountability that they may have had regarding Wuhan lab research or leaks? Additionally, were there concerns they did not want to prove President Trump’s statement to be true that the origin of COVID-19 was a Wuhan lab leak? Had they given credence to this charge, the whole tenor, tone and focus of the 2020 election would have turned on a dime.”
Graham argued that if it was proven that the virus leaked from a lab, “The top question on voters’ minds in the 2020 election would have become who was going to stand up to China. Which candidate would hold the Chinese accountable for unleashing the COVID-19 plague on the world? “
“Americans would have demanded a tougher line against the Chinese communist regime and would have been looking for a commander in chief to lead the charge. There is no doubt in my mind this would have benefitted President Trump much more than Joe Biden,” he added.
Additionally, he said “scientists’ early dismissal created a narrative” that Trump was “spreading right-wing conspiracy theories.”
Graham’s op-ed comes as the theory that the coronavirus leaked from a lab in China is getting a new look after it was initially dismissed by scientists and commentators.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.