“The View” hosts Whoopi Goldberg and Sunny Hostin said they believe that if Donald Trump had not used xenophobic rhetoric at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, countless people would have listened to the COVID-19 lab leak theory.
On the Wednesday episode of “The View,” Goldberg, along with co-hosts Hostin, Alyssa Farah Griffin, Joy Behar and Sara Haines, discussed the theory, which is making headlines again after the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) concluded that a Chinese lab was most likely the source of COVID-19.
One other government agency, the FBI, has moderate confidence that COVID-19 came from a lab incident. FBI Director Christopher Wray acknowledged the agency’s assessment of the theory on Tuesday.
Although the virus began spreading in December 2019, reports of the outbreak did not make global news until early January 2020.
Commenting on the recent development on “The View,” Goldberg, 67, said that regardless of where the virus came from, Trump still “made it about Asian people.” Following his public remarks, anti-Asian hate crimes spiked across the country in 2020 and the following years.
Goldberg also brought up comedian Jon Stewart’s reaction to the recent development, saying, “I’m sure Jon Stewart didn’t realize that that’s what was happening because I’m sure he didn’t know what was going on all over the country with Asian folks getting smacked and hit and people saying stuff to them about bringing the disease here.”
Stewart first voiced the lab leak theory during his guest appearance on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” in June 2021 and faced backlash for his comments, with some people accusing him of being “racist against Asian people.”
Today @JonStewart talks to some of our staff about the news that the COVID-19 virus may, in fact, have leaked from a lab in China and what it reveals about the problem with the media narrative machine. Full episode drops Wednesday on @ApplePodcasts pic.twitter.com/tsaLUYzIRl
— The Problem With Jon Stewart (@TheProblem) February 27, 2023
Goldberg also said that if Trump had not made xenophobic remarks at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, many people would have seriously considered the lab leak theory.
If you-know-who had not started it with that, had he not made it about that, had he said, “Listen, this might have come out of a lab” and not gone on and described it in ways I’m not even going to reiterate for you, it probably would have been listened to a lot differently.
Hostin chimed in, saying, “Trump unleashed this xenophobia. He stopped allowing Chinese people to come to the country. He then started calling it the…” Before she could finish her sentence, her co-hosts interrupted, telling her, “Don’t even say it.”
“He kept on saying ‘China, China’ and doing this thing where I was even concerned, as someone who had lost family members, for Manny [Hostin’s husband] to even bring it up,” she continued. “And that is really sad because when you can’t trust the transparency of your government, where are you?”