Comedian and former Daily Show host Jon Stewart was one of the first guests back on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert on Monday night, and he made his views fully known on what he believes to be the origins of the novel coronavirus: the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
After some preliminary "welcome back to real life" comments and questions, Stewart expressed fully his understanding that the virus originated in a lab in Wuhan. He mocked the concept of animal transmission, joking that pangolins and turtles making out was not the source of the virus that erupted into a global pandemic.
"Uhh, a pangolin kissed a turtle? …Or maybe a bat flew into the cloaca of a turkey and then it sneezed into my chili and now we all have coronavirus?" Stewart joked.
Before a fully vaccinated audience, Stewart said that nothing else other than the theory that the virus leaked from a lab made any sense. This is a hypothesis that came to fruition in the early days of the pandemic, and was noted as a possibility by President Trump, but was squashed by mainstream media and Democrats, who frequently said that it was racist to think a virology lab in Wuhan, China, that was experimenting on coronaviruses could be the source of a coronavirus.
Stewart intended to set the record straight. "I think we owe a great debt of gratitude to science," he said. "Science has, in many ways, helped ease the suffering of this pandemic, which was more than likely caused by science."
"Do you mean perhaps there's a chance that this was created in a lab?" Colbert asked.
"A chance?" Stewart replied incredulously. "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. The disease is the same name as the lab. That's just a little too weird!"
He delved into the going narrative that Wuhan was the locus of the virus simply because it has lots of bats. So does Austin, Tex., Stewart pointed out, and they don't have any novel coronaviruses jumping from bats to people.
"It's a local specialty, and it's the only place to find bats," he said sarcastically. "You won't find bats anywhere else. Oh wait, Austin, Texas has thousands of them that fly out of a cave! Every night! Every night at dusk. Is there an Austin coronavirus? No, there doesn't seem to be an Austin coronavirus. The only coronavirus we have is in Wuhan where they have a lab called...what's the lab called again Stephen?"
"The Wuhan coronavirus lab," Colbert said, playing along.
"But this is the problem with science," Stewart said. "Science is incredible, but they don't know when to stop and no one in the room with those cats ever goes, 'I don’t know if we should do that.' They’re like, 'curiosity killed the cat, so let’s kill 10,000 cats to find out why.'"
Stewart got out of his guest's chair and strolled toward the camera, speaking directly into it and making strange faces. "I have been alone so long," he said. "And when I realized that the laboratory was having the same name, first name and last name, of the evil that had been plaguing us, I thought to myself, that’s f*cked up."
"Can I say this about scientists? I love them and they do such good work but they are going to kill us all," Stewart said.