NYT’s Maggie Haberman Blames Trump For Media Not Covering Theory That Pandemic Origin Was Wuhan Lab

New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman suggested to CNN on Monday that the reason the media did not treat claims seriously that the coronavirus pandemic originated from a lab accident at the Wuhan Institute of Virology was because the information was coming from the Trump administration.

“I do think it’s important to remember that part of this issue when this was first being reported on and discussed back a few months after the pandemic had begun was that then President Trump and Mike Pompeo the Secretary of State both suggested they had seen evidence that this was formed in a lab and they also suggested it was not released on purpose, but they refused to release the evidence showing what it was,” Haberman told CNN’s “New Day” on Monday.

“And so because of that, that made this instantly political,” she claimed. “I think that that was, you know, example 1,000 when the Trump administration learned that when you have burned your own credibility over and over again people are not immediately going to believe you, especially in an election year.”

WATCH:

TRANSCRIPT:

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: I want to bring in CNN Political Analyst and Washington Correspondent for the “New York Times,” Maggie Haberman. Maggie, so nice to see you this morning. This matters, understanding where coronavirus and how the pandemic began matters.

A lot of the discussion about the lab leak I think was clouded early on because there was a suggestion by some that it was somehow a Chinese weapon that caused this.

That’s not what we’re talking about here. We’re talking about a lab accident. But we’ve come a long way from people dismissing this as a conspiracy theory to a lot of people taking this seriously, Maggie.

MAGGIE HABERMAN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: We have John. And look, I do think it’s important to remember that part of this issue when this was first being reported on and discussed back a few months after the pandemic had begun was that then President Trump and Mike Pompeo the Secretary of State both suggested they had seen evidence that this was formed in a lab and they also suggested it was not released on purpose, but they refused to release the evidence showing what it was.

And so because of that, that made this instantly political. I think that that was, you know, example 1,000 when the Trump administration learned that when you have burned your own credibility over and over again people are not immediately going to believe you, especially in an election year.

However, that does not mean it’s not worth discussing. There has been a sort of persistent, albeit, relatively quite focus on whether that was the origin of the virus and it is compounded by the fact that there are — have not been clear answers from Chinese officials about it and that investigators trying to find out the origin have been stymied.

So I do thing we’re in a different period of this, John. But I also think it’s important to remember, because I think it’s getting reframed in a way that’s just not true to what happened. I don’t mean here.

BERMAN: Right.

HABERMAN: I mean in this broader debate by Trump supporters about what happened when this was originally raised.

BERMAN: And I think a lot of people want just answers at this point and it is important.

HABERMAN: Right. That’s right. That’s right.

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