Former “Daily Show” host Jon Stewart says he believes the coronavirus pandemic originated in a lab in Wuhan, China.
“I honestly mean this: I think we owe a great debt of gratitude to science,” Stewart began on Stephen Colbert’s “Late Show” on Monday night. “Science has in many ways helped ease the suffering of this pandemic ― which was more than likely caused by science.”
Colbert asked if that means there was a chance the virus started in a lab.
“A chance?” Stewart shot back. “Oh my God, there’s a novel respiratory coronavirus overtaking Wuhan, China. What do we do? Oh, you know who we could ask? The Wuhan novel respiratory coronavirus lab.”
Stewart called it “a little too weird” that the outbreak began in the same city as a lab studying these types of viruses and compared it to a chocolate accident near a chocolate factory.
“Oh my God! There’s been an outbreak of chocolatey goodness near Hershey, Pennsylvania. What do you think happened?” he asked. “Oh, I don’t know, maybe a steam shovel made it with a cocoa bean. Or it’s the fucking chocolate factory!”
Stewart also warned against dismissing it as a conspiracy theory, saying scientists “don’t know when to stop.”
“Can I say this about scientists?” he said later in the segment. “I love them and they do such good work but they are going to kill us all.”
Stewart pointed to another example: the atomic bomb.
“If you cut the atom this way, it can power the world with electricity, and if you cut it that way, it can blow everything up,” he said. “Guess which one we tried first? That’s just who we are.”
Stewart even guessed the world would end in a science experiment.
“The last words man utters are somewhere in a lab a guy goes, ’Huhuh! It worked,” he said.
The “lab leak theory” ― that the virus escaped from the lab or was potentially even created in that lab ― gained new steam after the Wall Street Journal reported last month that three researchers in Wuhan had become sick with coronavirus-like symptoms in November 2019, a month before the first documented cases. Dr. Anthony Fauci also said last month he was “not convinced” the virus developed naturally and urged an investigation, which is now underway.
Shi Zhengli, a leading Chinese virologist who works at the lab, denied that the virus escaped from the facility.
“I don’t know how the world has come to this, constantly pouring filth on an innocent scientist,” she told The New York Times.
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