WASHINGTON (TND) — Late night comedians on Monday pushed back on the Department of Energy's conclusion that the COVID-19 outbreak most likely originated from a laboratory leak in China.
Earlier in the day, news broke of a classified intelligence report from the DOE, which concluded — albeit with "low confidence" — that this was the case.
"No bio labs until you finish building your electric car charging stations. Stay in your lane," Stephen Colbert argued during "The Late Show's" Monday night episode. "You don't see the census bureau building nukes."
"Conclusion with 'low confidence' is such a f--kboy move," Comedy Central's Hasan Minhaj said Monday. "Like you're dating someone and they go 'Babe, what are we?' And you're like, 'Sarah, I can tell you for sure, I don't know."
Colbert and Minhaj attempted to throw doubt at the DOE's conclusion by pointing out multiple other agencies concluded the COVID pandemic had natural origins. However, they failed to note that those agencies also only have "low confidence" in their findings.
The late night comedians also failed to point out the FBI, which has come to the same conclusion as the DOE, found with "moderate confidence" that the COVID pandemic resulted from a lab leak.
Despite the doubt from Colbert, Minhaj and others, many are feeling vindicated after news of the DOE's report, considering those who espoused such an idea early on were derided as fringe conspiracy theorists.
"The larger problem with all of this is the inability to discuss things that are within the realm of possibility without falling into absolutes and litmus-testing each other for our political allegiances as it arose from that," former "Daily Show" host Jon Stewart said on his podcast this week.
Stewart was slammed in 2021 when he said on "The Late Show" with Colbert that the lab leak theory was a logical explanation for the pandemic.
"My bigger problem with that was I thought it was a pretty good bit that expressed kind of how I felt, and the two things that came out of it were I'm racist against Asian people, and how dare I align myself with the alt-right," Stewart added during his podcast, referring to the backlash he got for his late night assessment on the origins of COVID. "The backlash was swift, immediate and quite loud."