The Importance Of Being Wrong

Nobody ever said thinking was easy.

Steve QJ
5 min readJun 29, 2022
Photo by Ayo Ogunseinde on Unsplash

In January 2020, two months before the COVID pandemic began ruining our lives in earnest, Republican Senator, Tom Cotton, questioned the Chinese government’s claims that it originated in a seafood market.

Citing a Lancet study, Cotton claimed that fourteen cases, including the person believed to be “patient zero,” had no prior contact with the market. He went on to float the possibility (among others), that the virus had originated in the “bio-safety, Level-4 super laboratory” based in Wuhan, China.

A month later, he appeared on Fox News and made the same claim:

We don’t have evidence that this disease originated there, but because of China’s duplicity and dishonesty from the beginning, we need to at least ask the question to see what the evidence says. And China, right now, is not giving evidence on that question at all.

As the lockdowns started to bite, the lab-leak hypothesis was associated with the fear-mongering and conspiracy theories and anti-Asian racism circulating on the internet. Until, eventually, the media stopped trying to tell the difference.

Senator Tom Cotton Repeats Fringe Theory of Coronavirus Origins,” wrote the New York Times. “The Lab-Leak Theory Is Unbearably Racist,” said The



Steve QJ

Race. Politics. Culture. Sometimes other things. Almost always polite. Find more at