🇺🇸 It Came From a Lab?

Plus, the world is running out of sand.

The Flag


Good morning, and happy Tuesday! An ice storm in Howell, Michigan, caused this man's American flag to freeze — see how he tried with great care to straighten it out in the cold weather in this wild video.

Plus, the Czech Republic is changing its name – here’s why.

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📉 Monday, February 27, President Biden Job Approval: Approval 46, Disapprove 51 (Rasmussen Reports)

📉 Monday, February 27, Direction of Country: Right Direction 35, Wrong Track 59 (Rasmussen Reports)

🐘 Sunday, February 26: 2024 Kansas Republican Presidential Primary: Trump 43, DeSantis 28, Pence 7, Haley 7, Pompeo 1, Rubio, Cruz, Cheney 2, T. Scott 1 (Fox News)

📉 Sunday, February 26, President Biden Job Approval: Approval 44, Disapprove 55 (Fox News)


Right: Biden, McConnell Clueless About U.S. Strategic Interests Josh Hammer, Newsweek

Right: Ohio Train Derailment Could Have Been Prevented Sen. Marco Rubio, USA Today

Right: Why the Diversity Industry Is So Homogenous Roger Kimball, Epoch Times

Left: Why America Really Doesn't Have a Choice in Ukraine Michael McFaul, MSNBC

Left: Republicans Pretend To Be Hippies in Ohio Ryan Cooper, American Prospect

Left: Scott's '24 Pitch Is Only 'Sunny' If You Like GOP Dominance Ed Kilgore, NY Magazine


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Arguments About Loans, Homebuyer Bounce, DeSantis and Disney

US: Student Loan Forgiveness: What to Know About Supreme Court Oral Arguments This Week (Money)

World: New Turkey quake kills one person, flattens more buildings (Reuters) + Turkish President Erdogan seeks forgiveness over quake rescue delays (BBC)

Economy: Pending home sales blew past expectations last month as buyers pounced on lower rates (CNN)

World: Yellen visits Ukraine, underscores US economic support (AP)

Business: DeSantis signs bill revoking Disney's self-governing power (Fox News)

US: Biden says ‘I may be a white boy, but I’m not stupid’ at Black History Month event (NY Post)

US: Murdaugh trial judge allows the jury to visit the scene of the double murders (NBC News)


It Came From a Lab?

Amid ongoing speculation as to how COVID-19 originally infected humans, the Wall Street Journal reports it appears the virus first came from a lab in China, according to classified findings from the Department of Energy.

Reporting from the Left: US Energy Department assesses with 'low confidence' Covid may have originated from Chinese lab leak (NBC News)

Reporting from the Right: Covid Likely Originated From Lab Leak, Energy Department Reportedly Finds—But Biden Aide Says There’s No ‘Definitive Answer’ (Forbes)

From the Flag: Some have responded to this report with anger and frustration, given the so-called “lab leak theory” was disregarded as a conspiracy during the pandemic’s earlier stages. Others note the issue is far from decided, as even the Energy Department doesn’t say their findings are definitive. Here’s more from both sides as this story develops.


Are We Now Allowed to Question China, Universities, and the Media?

  • While this latest revelation doesn’t fully prove the lab leak theory, it further calls into question China’s less-than-transparent approach.
  • People in academia and so-called journalists cooperated to enforce a media blackout against anyone covering the lab leak theory.
  • A scientist who claims to have worked closely with the lab in Wuhan says COVID-19 was genetically engineered and that it leaked.

“Another Turn in the Covid Lab-Leak Story” Editorial Board, Wall Street Journal: “The Journal scoop… doesn’t mean the case is definitive. But it is more evidence that the media and public-health groupthink about Covid was mistaken and destructive. The salient detail is that DOE’s judgment is based on ‘new’ but still secret intelligence. Yet DOE’s new judgment is nonetheless made with ‘low confidence.’ The FBI has concluded that the Wuhan Institute of Virology was the “likely” origin of the virus, but other US intelligence agencies either don’t believe they have enough evidence or believe it had a natural origin. China has covered up whatever evidence it has about the virus’s origin, and it refuses to let the World Health Organization conduct a more thorough probe than it did in 2021. News reports say the WHO recently abandoned the second phase of its investigation. China’s behavior is prima facie evidence that it fears what an independent inquiry might find.”

“COVID lab leak is a scandal of media and government censorship” Jonathan Turley, New York Post Opinion: “For years, the media and government allied to treat anyone raising a lab theory as one of three possibilities: conspiracy theorist or racists or racist conspiracy theorists. Academics joined this chorus in marginalizing anyone raising the theory. One study cited the theory as an example of ‘anti-Chinese racism’ and ‘toxic white masculinity.’ As late as May 2021, the New York Times’ Science and Health reporter Apoorva Mandavilli was calling any mention of the lab theory as ‘racist.’ … She tweeted wistfully… ‘maybe even admit its racist roots. But alas, that day is not yet here.’ … We were also supposed to forget about massive payments from the Chinese government to American universities and grants of some of these writers to both Chinese interests or even the specific Wuhan lab. No reference to the lab theory was to be tolerated.”

One more opinion piece from the RightI Worked With the Wuhan Lab. I Know Covid Was a Lab Leak Imogen Braddick, The Sun


Intelligence and Medical Community: Still No Consensus on COVID Origin

  • China is once again accusing the US of politicizing the pandemic, as it has repeatedly done in response to the lab leak theory.
  • The US intelligence community has been split on the issue of COVID-19’s origin for years.
  • The lab leak theory can’t be definitively proven without more evidence: namely, what was being done inside the lab itself?

“China Dismisses Latest Claim That Lab Leak Likely Caused Covid” David Pierson, New York Times: “China accused the United States of politicizing the coronavirus pandemic again on Monday, in response to (the Energy Department’s report) … The rebuke marks the latest salvo in a running war of words between the two countries over the origins of the virus, an issue that has taken on as much of a political dimension as a scientific one as the rivalry between the two superpowers deepens. ‘Covid tracing is a scientific issue that should not be politicized,’ Mao Ning, a Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman… (who) then repeated calls for the United States to ‘stop defaming China’ by raising the lab leak theory. China’s response adds to the growing friction between Washington and Beijing this month, following a spy balloon incident and US accusations that China was considering supplying Russia with weapons and ammunition for use in Ukraine.”

“​​US Energy Department assesses Covid-19 likely resulted from lab leak, furthering US intel divide over virus origin” Herb & Bertrand, CNN: “Two sources said that the Department of Energy assessed in the intelligence report that it had ‘low confidence’ the Covid-19 virus accidentally escaped from a lab in Wuhan. … A low confidence assessment generally means that the information obtained is not reliable enough or is too fragmented to make a more definitive analytic judgment or that there is not enough information available to draw a more robust conclusion. The latest assessment further adds to the divide in the US government over whether the Covid-19 pandemic began in China in 2019 as the result of a lab leak or whether it emerged naturally. The various intelligence agencies have been split on the matter for years. … National security adviser Jake Sullivan said on CNN… that the intelligence community remains divided on the matter.”

One more opinion piece from the Left: The available evidence points to the Huanan market via zoonosis. But affirmative evidence of lab origin could change my view. Dr. Angela Rasmussen, Twitter


Americans Increasingly Convinced of Lab Leak

Polling data highlights how, over time, Americans have become more convinced that COVID-19 came from a lab.

In 2020, a survey found just 29% of Americans believed the virus emerged from a lab (Pew Research).

By July 2021, over half (52%) said it came from a lab in a separate poll. That included 59% of Republicans and 52% of Democrats, while 28% said it came from an infected animal (Politico-Harvard University).

A September 2022 survey found Americans favor some sort of lab leak hypothesis over a naturally occurring event by a factor of 2 to 1 (YouGov).


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First NATO Military Action, Car Free in Middle America, Gen Z Slang

This was the aircraft flown by Captain Robert Wright when he shot down 3 Serb J-21 Jastreb attack jets.

On This Day in 1994: In the first military action in the 45-year history of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), US fighter planes shoot down four Serbian warplanes engaged in a bombing mission in violation of Bosnia’s no-fly zone.

Vox: How to go car-free — or car-light — in Middle America

Fast Company: Gen Z slang: your one-stop, no-judgment guide

LitHub: How Two Jewish Kids in 1930s Cleveland Altered the Course of American Pop Culture

Today I Learned that the world is running out of sand. Sand is the most-consumed natural resource besides water, and it's the main ingredient in concrete, glass, and silicon chips. Most harvested sand goes to make concrete, but desert sand isn't suitable for concrete because it's too smooth.