THREAD: Tucker Carlson is once again pushing the debunked conspiracy that COVID-19 was genetically engineered in a lab, and airing claims that the pandemic was intentionally released by China, using a dubiously souced "study" linked to Steve Bannon.
On September 14th, Li-Meng Yan, a researcher who fled Hong Kong, posted a paper claiming that she and other researchers had found a way to recreate SARS-CoV-2 in a lab. The paper drew the interest of conservative media and Tucker Carlson. zenodo.org/record/4028830…
During the segment Yan claimed that the virus was intentinally created in a lab by the Chinese and is not a naturally occuring virus. Despite ever increasing evidence that this claim is false, Tucker did not raise objections or make an attempt to push back on the claim
When Yan claimed COVID-19 was intentionally released by the Chinese governemnt, Tucker responsed that "this is not the forum for the details of your research, I don't have the grounding necessary to ask you the right questions, but this is where you wish for a functioning media"
Tucker spent 23 minutes covering this, accusing the media and all manner of people of covering for China and not appropriately ivenstigating the possibility that the virus came from a lab and only in that moment decided his show was not the appropriate forum to litigate the claim
Fundamentally, Yan's paper is being used to once again push the conspiracy that the COVID-19 virus was intentionally engineered by China, a claim that has been repeatedly debunked and is almost universally rejected by reputable researchers.
snopes.com/news/2020/07/1…
For a good measure, the claim was also debunked by The Office of the Director of National Intelligence.
apnews.com/c9499f7b8ab2ae…
This isn't the first time Tucker Carlson/Fox News have pushed the "man-made virus" claim. In February, I wrote about how Tucker and Fox were helping spread the lab theory, including giving ample airtime to its champion, Senator Tom Cotton.
usatoday.com/story/opinion/…
In March, Carlson was discussing dubiously sourced papers he admitted he and his team at Fox "haven’t independently confirmed" to argue the media was ignoring the possibility that COVID-19 had been created by the Chinese government.
mediamatters.org/tucker-carlson…
Throughout the early months of the pandemic, Carlson's show kept a steady drumbeat of insistence that the virus was somehow linked to the Wuhan Institute of Virology, oscillating between claims the virus was man-made or that it "escaped" from the lab.
Despite people like Ken Cuccinelli saying on Tucker's show that the virus was not man-made Tucker continued to plow forward with the conspiracy-mongering
In July Yan had her first encounter with Fox, claiming that the Chinese government knew about COVID-19 well before they went public and that they had censored her research. At this time Yan was not claiming the virus was engineered/released by the Chinese.
foxnews.com/world/chinese-…
Earlier today The Daily Beast's @lachlan reported that Yan's study was done in partnership with the Rule of Law Society and the Rule of Law Foundation, nonprofits Steve Bannon helped create, the study was not published by a medical journal.

thedailybeast.com/steve-bannon-l…
In February, my colleague @peltzmadeline reported on how Bannon, and his wealthy benefactors, were also pushing the same conspiracy theory

mediamatters.org/steve-bannon/s…
In short (lol) this is just another chapter in Fox and Tucker’s longstanding campaign to use dubiously sourced claims and conspiracies to obscure the realities of COVID-19, ignoring the science and research in favor of sensationalism. mediamatters.org/coronavirus-co…
Update: Facebook is flagging video of the segment posted on FB by Tucker Carlson as containing false information about COVID-19
For the second night in a row Tucker insists that nobody bothered to check where COVID-19 actually came from, and pushed the lab-made theory, ignoring the mountain of research that directly contradicts this claim.
Tucker argues that Dr. Yan should be taken seriously because she's been published in The Lancet, in February The Lancet published a letter condemning the very claim Dr. Yan is peddling as unfounded and unscientific thelancet.com/journals/lance…
gee I wonder why?
Politifact gave Yan's claim that “This virus, COVID-19 SARS-CoV-2 virus, actually is not from nature. It is a man-made virus created in the lab”the rating of "Pants of Fire"
politifact.com/factchecks/202…

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