A doctor has condemned Jon Stewart’s comments regarding a theory claiming that COVID-19 began in an accidental lab leak.
Stewart voiced his comments on Stephen Colbert‘s Late Show on June 14, and has since come under fire.
Colbert had asked Stewart for his thoughts on the “science” behind virus detection and prevention.
“I think we owe a great deal of gratitude to science,” Stewart replied.
To laughter from the audience, the comedian added: “Science has, in many ways, helped ease the suffering of the pandemic, which was more than likely caused by science.”
Watch the interview below.
Colbert followed up by asking Stewart: “‘Do you mean perhaps there’s a chance that this was created in a lab?”
Stewart replied: “Oh my god, there’s a novel respiratory coronavirus overtaking Wuhan, China, what do we do? Oh you know who we should ask? The Wuhan novel respiratory coronavirus lab.”
He made additional lighthearted comments about other theories behind the pandemic’s cause. “A bat flew into the cloaca of a turkey and then it sneezed into my chili and now we all have coronavirus,” he quipped.
However, following his appearance on the show, a professional has urged Stewart and others to be more careful when discussing the pandemic’s potential origin.
Speaking to TMZ Live, Dr Peter Hotez, the dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine and co-director of the Texas Children’s Hospital Center for Vaccine Development said: “Right now, the reality is there is no smoking gun to say that it’s of laboratory origin.”
He added: “They’re putting the entertainment value of this above what’s reality. It causes a lot of damage because a number of scientists who work on coronaviruses including myself feel that we’re under attack right now.”
Meanwhile, bosses from some of England’s most beloved grassroots music venues have spoken of their fear and frustration, with approximately £36million set to be lost as a result of the easing of coronavirus restrictions being delayed by four weeks.