WorldNetDaily continues to have a serious problem with the whole journalism thing, still insisting on publishing bogus claims that it's forced to walk back later. This time, it's a Feb. 1 article by Art Moore:
China, the World Health Organization and the U.S. National Institutes of Health have dimissed the theory that the virus causing the global pandemic that has killed more than 2 million people and devastated economies worldwide escaped from the Wuhan, China, lab funded by the United States.
But there's no disputing the fact, as Newsweek reported in April 2020, that NIH executive Dr. Anthony Fauci promoted a highly controversial type of research involving the manipulation of viruses to explore their potential for infecting humans. And it's known that more than 200 scientists pressured the Obama administration in 2014 to temporarily halt U.S. funding for that research because of the risk of a manipulated virus accidentally escaping a lab and igniting a pandemic. Nevertheless, under Fauci's direction, the dangerous virus engineering resumed in 2017 and continued until April 2020.
Now, documentary evidence makes it a "near certainty" that the coronavirus pandemic originated in the Wuhan Institute of Virology in China, where so-called "gain-of-function" research was funded by Fauci's National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, according to Steve Hilton, who is leading a special investigation for his Fox News show "The Next Revolution."
Politifact subtly dragged WND in a fact-check: "WorldNetDaily has since dialed back on many of its claims, issuing three separate corrections, all of which cite scientists pushing back on the notion that SARS-CoV-2 was manmade. It has also placed a question mark at the end of the original headline. However, the bulk of the article text has not been updated."
Indeed, the original headline, 'New evidence ties COVID-19 creation to research funded by Fauci," now ends with a question mark, and Moore's article is topped with a massive correction that was added a week later:
UPDATED Feb. 8, 2021: A fact check by USA Today from March and April 2020 indicated the coronavirus is not man-made or engineered, but its origin remains unclear. It said, "There is no evidence to suggest that the virus was created in a Chinese laboratory. "It is probable, likely, that the virus is of animal origin," WHO spokeswoman Fadela Chaib said.
The Scripps Research Institute released a study that rejects the notion that the virus was man-made. Researchers concluded that if the virus were engineered, its genome sequence would more closely resemble earlier and more serious versions of the coronavirus.
FactCheck.org stated on Feb. 7, 2020, "There is no evidence that the new virus was bioengineered, and every indication it came from an animal. ... All lines of evidence point to the virus coming from an animal. That's consistent with what scientists have learned about the ecology of coronaviruses in the last 20 years," according to Timothy Sheahan, a virologist at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. It fits with the fact that the virus shares 96% of its genome with a bat virus.
"The genetic data is pointing to this virus coming from a bat reservoir," he said, "not a lab."
While publishing false information does not inspire confidence in WND's product, having to issue massive corrections doesn't either, especially when you're trying to get other websites to publish your content, as the WND News Center is trying to do -- not to mention getting people to donate money to fund the nonprofit effort.
There's clearly a fundamental dysfunction in WND's editorial process that no "news" organization in existence for 23 years should have. The continual walkbacks -- while a refreshing change from its usual practice of refusing to correct false claims unless someone threatens to sue -- make us wonder if, even after finally making concrete efforts to save itself from its ongoing financial crisis, WND deserves to live.