PolitiFact has quietly retracted a Sept. 2020 fact check that labeled a Hong Kong virologist’s claim that COVID-19 originated in a lab as inaccurate and a “debunked conspiracy theory.”
“The claim is inaccurate and ridiculous,” now-archived fact check previously said. “We rate it Pants on Fire!”
In an updated editor’s note published Monday, PolitiFact explained why it has now removed the label.
“When this fact-check was first published in September 2020, PolitiFact’s sources included researchers who asserted the SARS-CoV-2 virus could not have been manipulated. That assertion is now more widely disputed,” the note states. “For that reason, we are removing this fact-check from our database pending a more thorough review. Currently, we consider the claim to be unsupported by evidence and in dispute.”